Ford puts measures in place to enhance ownership experience

Ford announces new strategy aimed at enhancing ownership experience ahead of Ranger launch

Reuben Van Niekerk
Ford dealer
Ford Everest
Ford Ranger

Ford South Africa have recently introduced eight new focus areas designed to modernise the customer experience for new and pre-owned motorists.

These eight areas help leverage and amplify the Ford+ plan and create a more detailed understanding and robust set of actions throughout the customer journey.

 

As Ford prepares to launch the brand new Ranger and Everest they have put certain systems in place to ensure a more rewarding and connected ownership journey for their customers.

 

The key strategic points of Ford’s Super eight initiatives include the following:

 

1. Ford Sales & Service experience

In order to meet the demand for an always-on personalised relationship with products and services, Ford has responded by modernising and digitising every aspect of the sales and service experience. For most customers the journey begins when they visit Fords website and part of Ford’s commitment is taking the ecommerce offering to the next level through an online sales reservation capability.

 

2. Ranger and Everest experts

During the important phase when customers are considering a purchase, their ability to research and find the information they are looking for plays a critical role. To cater for this need Ford has created a team of Ranger and Everest experts in the customer relationship centre to provide a friendly a personal touch.

These experts are trained by the Ford Academy and will be accessible through a variety of communication channels including telephone, video call or live chat. These experts will be able to provide information about vehicle configuration, build and price. They will also be able to provide expert advice about the vehicles and accessories, online reservation support and post-purchase education.

 

3. Master your vehicle

The customer’s Ford journey and relationship is enhanced through a personalised online delivery checklist as well as an invitation to download the FordPass app. This app takes customer connectivity to a new level, kick starting the on boarding journey with access to rich, relevant content and allowing access to vital vehicle information via their cell phone.

 

Additional features of the FordPass app include the ability to remote start a vehicle on hot or cold days, ensuring that the temperature inside is comfortable once they get in. Owners can also pinpoint the location of their vehicle at any time and lock or unlock it remotely, while also being alerted when the alarm is triggered. Furthermore, the online owner’s portal enables customers to self learn everything there is to know about their Ranger and Everest’s features, content and technology.

 

4. Customer Service Convenience Initiatives

Ford believes that it is vital to understand the unique requirements of customers and meet them on their own terms with more flexibility, more speed and more options.

 

The experience begins with the ability to make online service bookings and is bolstered by free collection and delivery of the vehicle as well as the provision of a like-for-like loaner when repair work may take a few days.

For customers who are particularly time strapped, the Express Service offering will get them back on the road in just 60 minutes. In future Ford will also be offering the ultimate level of service convenience with a mobile vehicle that takes the service to the client. Initially conceived for fleet customers in remote locations, mobile servicing will become a key offering for retails clients too.

 

The Ford Pro Service Elite program ensures minimal downtime for fleet customers thanks to after hours and 60-minute express servicing, done on site by mobile crews and supported by preferential parts pricing for large fleet customers.

 

5. Worry-free vehicle health

By building a closer relationship with its dealers, Ford are hoping to reduce downtime associated with maintenance and repair by combining the intelligence of connected vehicle data with the convenience of FordPass.

 

One of the outputs will be a monthly vehicle health report that reinforces the connectivity value. The next-generation Ranger and Everest will also feature over the air module updates, eliminating the need for customers to schedule a service for certain system upgrades. Customer reminders will be delivered via the FordPass app, based on real time feedback from the vehicle’s built in modem.

 

6. Unscheduled vehicle downtime

A cross-functional team at the Ford head office now works proactively with dealers to reduce downtime. Ford’s concierge team is empowered to make decisions, guide customers, while having the expertise to work alongside dealers to diagnose the problem and then to order and prioritise parts.

 

A customer progress tracker provides on going updates and transparent communication between the customer relationship centre and the dealer, allowing for alternative transport arrangements to be made and ensuring that customers are immediately reimbursed for expenses incurred.

 

RealWear virtual reality technology is helping to get customers back on the road in less time by remotely connecting dealership technicians with Ford’s Technical Assistance Centre, staffed by highly experienced support personnel and field service engineers.

 

7. Customer retention and renewal

Ford understands that retaining the service relationship is key to keeping the customer in the Ford family. As such Ford Protect plans cover a variety of options such as cover for wear and tear components, mechanical and electrical repair and premium maintenance, which includes all of the above. Ford Protect plans are 100% backed by Ford, with only Ford genuine parts used to maintain the vehicle, by Ford authorised technicians at Ford franchise dealerships nationwide.

 

An updated Ford Approved Division offers customers the best used cars and service at 94 fully operational sites nationally. All vehicles sold through Ford Approved are subject to stringent criteria needed to build confidence, trust and loyalty with customers.

 

8. Sponsorship

The Ford Wildlife Foundation has donated 12 Rangers and loaned a further 28 Ranger double cab 4x4s to qualifying education, research and conservation projects across Southern Africa, providing mobility to these conservation objectives.

 

Building on the brand’s rich racing heritage is a long and successful association with the Neil Woolridge Motorsport team competing in the South African Rally-Raid Championship with a FIA T+ version of the Ford Ranger.

 

Browse our range of quality, Motus-certified new, used and demo Ford vehicles for sale here.