Having it all when it comes to luxury car ownership increasingly includes comprehensive concierge services--little touches like car pickup and delivery, guaranteed loaner cars, even free detailing. Ward’s Auto data shows that factory concierge service share is up from 14 percent in cars, and 20 percent in light trucks in the 2010 model year to 18 percent in cars, and 27 percent in light trucks for the 2011 model year.
But just as each luxury automaker seeks to differentiate its product offerings from competitors, a look at the types of concierge services offered by each shows there are some subtle differences.
2013 Acura ILXEnlarge Photo
The Acura Concierge Service program grew out of an older Acura initiative called Acura Total Luxury Care. Although listed on the Acura Certified Pre-Owned vehicles page, the Acura Concierge Service is available to new retail Acura customers as well. The benefits provided in Acura Concierge Service are more client service-oriented and include:
- Urgent message relay
- Emergency airline ticketing assistance
- Special emergency services, such as travel arrangements requiring special accommodations, delivery of emergency cash, and more
- 24-hour weather information
- Insurance claims assistance
- Auto glass replacement referral
- Shipment of personal or replacement items
In addition, in January 2012, Acura began working with its dealer body to launch the Acura Concierge Experience initiative. This service is unique in that the focus is not on “complimentary services” provided, but on the caliber of service provided. What this means is delivering a higher level of personal engagement with each customer customized to meet their individual needs – as well as to meet or exceed a host of Acura Concierge Experience expectations. Dealers are required to participate in a training series that provides the foundation to the concierge experience.
There is no charge to Acura customers for either the Acura Concierge Service program or the Acura Concierge Experience.
2012 Audi A8 LEnlarge Photo
Audi offers concierge services as amenities and guarantees of service to A8 and R8 buyers/customers. According to Mark Dahncke, Audi of America spokesman, Audi takes the approach that its customers “are more tech-savvy and they are a little bit more self-sufficient, in the sense that they don’t mind doing things on their own. They want to be able to do things on their own and they don’t necessarily subscribe to the idea of having the online butler that you call.”
For the A8, in particular, and the R8, Audi worked with its dealers to:
- Guarantee an A6 or an A8 as a loaner car
- Guaranteed priority service scheduling within two days
“Our dealers have increased their level of infrastructure and resources so that there is an A8 technologist – someone who is very well versed in not only the car itself but also the customer, and is well-informed about what customers a particular dealership has and is able to address issues as they arise, whether that is something with a navigation system or something else on the car – so that there should be no open issues on the car that remain,” Dahncke said.
Audi offers owners of the A8 and R8 flagship performance and luxury models a higher level of service as part of the other benefits of Roadside Assistance. While every Audi owner has 24-hour roadside assistance during the original new car warranty, the level of service available to A8 and R8 owners includes:
- Trip interruption and reimbursement of lodging, meals and alternate transportation of up to $1,000 per incident when the vehicle has a mechanical breakdown over 100 miles from the residence address
- Additional exclusive Audi Concierge assistance for making necessary reservations during the vehicle disablement
The exclusive Audi Concierge assistance includes, but is not limited to, locating the nearest hotel and making reservations, locating available alternative transportation, making ticket reservations, and notifying loved ones or family members.
The exclusive amenities and service has been available to A8 and R8 customers since the introduction of the current Audi A8 in 2011. Check out our review of the 2012 Audi A8 here.