Ford Motor Company announced Thursday it is aiming to boost customer experience with initiatives like loyalty programs, mobile service and new showroom concepts.
“The customer experience is the most important area we can invest in to become the world’s most trusted company,” said Elena Ford, the company’s chief customer experience officer. “The real measure of our success as a company is keeping customers’ loyalty over time.”
This year, Ford already has doubled its investment in customer experiences, aiming to increase loyalty to Ford by further improving customer advocacy through programs that show appreciation to its long-term customer base.
“If we truly want to be serious about customer experience, we have to resource it like we do
F-150,” Elena Ford said. “It’s time we do.”
FordPass, a single mobile platform where owners can monitor their vehicles, find parking spaces or make service appointments, is expanding with a new customer loyalty program called FordPass Rewards.
The program began rolling out in April and officially launched May 2nd, with 1 million active members. With this program, customers who purchase or lease a new Ford vehicle will receive points they can use toward complimentary maintenance*, parts, service or a new vehicle at participating Ford dealerships.
New Call Centre Model
Ford is opening a new nationwide contact center in Houston that specializes in a new customer-centered approach. The center opens Monday, bringing more than 500 jobs to the community.
This contact center, which will be the prototype for all Ford call centers globally, works on an “own the call” model. Knowledgeable agents stay with the customer from first contact until every service and experience matter is resolved, rather than passing the customer to other departments. The process is a best practice learned through The Lincoln Motor Company’s contact centers. In addition, phone trees are replaced by voice-activated calling, helping owners reach customer-service experts more quickly.
Ford Mobile Service Pilot
Ford also is expanding a new U.S.-based mobile service pilot, which brings vehicle maintenance and light service to customers at home, at work or just about anywhere a customer wants.
The pilot currently runs in California and will expand in May to dealers in Texas, Illinois, New Jersey and Florida. Based on results, Ford will decide later whether to expand it.
Easy Lease Renewal
Ford Credit has developed two pilot programs designed to make lease renewals worry-free.
- Personal Lease Assistant: Personal lease assistants will help about 1,000 customers of select dealers in Philadelphia and New York navigate the lease renewal process.
- Drive New. Now: By knowing the customer, Ford Credit can provide personalized vehicle offers – making sure customers are provided with the right vehicle at the right time.
Testing New Global Retail Experiences
Ford is launching Ford Signature, a new retail look and experience that provides greater transparency in the sales and service journey. Ford Signature Dealerships include replacing traditional deal desks with purchase rooms with shared screens; monitors with service prices and video feeds of the service garage; and celebration areas for new-vehicle delivery. Ford has 70 Ford Signature stores around the world. It will expand to 300 globally by year’s end, with thousands slated for completion in coming years.
Another one of Ford’s global initiatives is the introduction of Ford Smart Labs, the first of which is opening in Brussels, Belgium. Ford Smart Labs are small retail point in a high-traffic area surrounded by shops, food and entertainment, where customers can experience Ford products in an engaging and no-pressure environment.