DEARBORN - Recently, @Ford Online discussed impact of the Go Further global brand promise on the company and customers with Ford Vice President of Global Customer Service Division Frederiek Toney. Below is an excerpt from that interview.
Q. How have you described the Go Further brand promise to your team?
A. It’s really a great capture of what we do in FCSD, which is customer service. One of the themes of Go Further is people serving people and of course that’s what we do every day – whether it’s taking care of a dealer or the dealer taking care of the end user customer. We relate very well to the global brand promise because it’s exactly what we do. And now we have some of the best, world-class distribution and service for customers with respect to delivering parts. We also are one of the best in the world at taking care of of our dealers’ needs by giving them technical assistance and information . It’s a perfect capture of what we do in FCSD.
Q. How do you feel the Go Further brand promise distinguishes Ford from its competition?
A. I think it captures our history, which reflects on our present, but it’s more importantly our future. It says that we’re going to be the ones that look out for our customers. And I think it’s just our attitude about it and the fact that we’re actually trying to make it tangible by placing the brand promise distinction on to it. It’s allowing us – everyone – to own it and relate to it. And that’s what I think gives us an advantage over our competition.
Q. Can you give some examples of ways your team has gone further?
A. There are many ways. For instance, one of our employees fell ill recently from a stroke. And he was incapacitated, paralyzed. This happened in one of our field locations. The field team took an entire day and went to this person’s house to support his wife and family. They did everything around the house. They did the spring chores. They cut the grass. They trimmed the hedges. They washed the windows. They cleaned the house. And that family was so appreciative. And nobody told the team to do that. They did that on their own. I just think that’s a great example of going further, but not just on our company time, but really looking out for each other.
And of course we have a consumer experience initiative here at Ford – it’s both an internal and an external initiative – and that’s all about elevating the way we take care of customers dealers and the way the dealers take care of the end-user customer. But there’s also an internal element of it. We are learning how to work together better and we’re actually committing ourselves to do a better job of communicating our anticipation and understanding of our customers’ needs so that we design vehicles better to serve those customers. That process is more friendly to the dealers and to customers so that our communications are more accurate and better geared to those groups. And all of that is happening internally. It’s all because we want to go further. We want to be better. We want to elevate our game. We want to take ourselves to another level.
Q. In customer service you really are in a unique position to interface with the customer, how are you going further with those customers?
A. We try to take disappointments on the part of the customers and we try to turn them into victories. It’s not as hard as you think because most of the time, just by the way that you make people feel and the way you respond to them can be a victory. And so often in today’s world, people are short, inconsiderate, not courteous, not empathetic. Well everything we do is to be the opposite of that. We care about you. We want to take care of you. And when there is a disappointment – maybe a part fails before its time or there was some other perception that didn’t go right – our job is to intervene and to try and take care of it. We’re not doing only doing that for the customer, but we also do it for our dealers. And I think we’re starting to do it better with each other inside of the company.
Q. In what ways do you believe the global brand promise contributes to the transformation of Ford and the One Ford plan in particular?
A. It’s something that we all relate to and we all can own. And I think everybody is our customer – whether it be an internal colleague or whether it be from another organization inside of the company, whether it’s a dealer or whether it’s actually a customer. We’re starting to understand that this whole Go Further thing is about taking care of people who relate to the brand and who relate to the Ford product. And we all own that. We all own making that better. And so I think it’s transformational in that way. And it really, in a tangible way, it brings One Ford to life.