DEARBORN – Rapidly increasing sales in the Middle East and elsewhere prompted Ford to closely examine the service received by customers and potential customers. In order to better meet their needs and provide the best possible assistance, a formerly Middle East-focused customer relationship center was moved from Dubai to Dearborn.
The location change enables Ford to not only increase its service level and hire additional personnel but also to continue to enhance support for customers who contact the company from the regions working with Emerging Market Services (EMS). EMS provides Marketing, Sales and Service support to all five of Ford’s global business units, in order to facilitate growth in emerging and opportunity markets.
The center’s hours of operation remain the same, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. GST, which means employees begin work in Dearborn at 1 a.m. local (EST) time. Given Dearborn’s large Middle-Eastern population, all employees are bilingual and able to respond in English or Arabic based on customer needs. On average, the team handles 30 web leads, 120 e-mails and 39 calls each day.
Nancy Jay, customer service operations specialist, says the staff is equipped to handle a wide range of questions. “People ask the questions you might expect, such as ‘what dealership is closest to me?’ and ‘what are the service intervals for my vehicle?’ but also when the next design of a particular vehicle is coming out.”
Jay said customers also alert representatives to concerns they have and provide both positive and negative feedback about their experiences. “We depend on our representatives to follow up on those concerns so our customers feel good about Ford Motor Company.”
Although the relocated office has only been open a few months, it is already generating positive feedback from customers – and potential customers – pleased with how their questions have been handled. Wrote one: “I am glad to hear back from you so quickly, it makes me confident as a future customer, that I would get the needed support and attention.” Others simply say, “Thanks a lot for caring,” or “Thank you for your continuing and caring customer service.”
Ford’s commitment to customer satisfaction is a key element of its plans to continue expanding its presence in the region. The new call center is one example of how the company is serving its customer base, which continues to grow. Last year, Ford Middle East set monthly sales records in 10 of 12 months and enjoyed its best year ever, with 85,028 vehicles sold, about 9,200 more than in 2012.