DEARBORN – Ford is launching a new Vehicle Orientation program at dealerships nationwide this week that is designed to help bridge the gap between consumers and their cars by providing customers with access to a comprehensive online library of “video snacks” – short videos that explain how to use specific vehicle features like Remote Start Systems, MyKey® and Integrated Blind Spot Mirrors.
While a customer is completing their sales transaction for a new vehicle at the dealership, the salesperson will walk them through an orientation guide of specific features they would like to learn about at delivery, at their Sync My Ride session or on their own. That list is then e-mailed to the customer with each item checked including a link to a corresponding video snack that they can watch at any time, whether at home or even in the dealership. The salesperson keeps a copy of the list so that he or she can review any items the customer may have missed when the customer returns to pick up their vehicle.
“Now more than ever before our vehicles are equipped with a variety of advanced technologies designed to make life better for drivers, but we know that just because a cool feature is available doesn’t necessarily mean it is being recognized or used by the consumer,” said Andrew Ashman, Ford and Lincoln Consumer Experience Manager. “Our goal is to simplify and enhance the sales experience by providing customers with the resources they need when they need them so that they can fully enjoy all the benefits their vehicle has to offer them.”
“It was seamless. It helped us take our conversation and our connection with our customer one step further,” said Casey Jenkins Combs, Internet Manager at Jenkins and Wynne Ford Lincoln. “The neat thing about this new orientation process is that we were able to tap into the customer’s needs just a little bit deeper and cater to them versus just saying, ‘Here is our agenda.’ We were able to listen and ask, ‘What’s important to you?’ and take it from there.”
The inspiration for video snacks comes from Ford’s Global Consumer Experience Movement, a revolutionary program based on the ideals of trust, control, respect and relationship that is designed to elevate the dealer-customer relationship into a world-class consumer experience.
Listening to customers
“We created the new Vehicle Orientation process to bring helpful information about our vehicles directly to the customer during the sales experience, putting the control in their hands to choose what they want to learn about – whether they are watching at home or experiencing it in a demonstration at the dealership,” said Ashman.
In an effort to zero in on specific vehicle features to spotlight in the form of a video snack, Ford reviewed customer research received 30 to 90 days after purchase and looked at what vehicle owners were posting on forums to find which technologies they were most interested in. One example is Ford MyKey system, which allows parents to create a customizable key with specific driving settings, including speed limit control, for greater safety for teen drivers.
The video snacks – which are a blend of video and animation with a little bit of narration – focus on a feature and not a specific vehicle so that they can be used across vehicle lines. Customers who buy a new vehicle will receive an e-mail notifying them where they can view the videos. The video snacks will also be posted on YouTube on a popular channel called “Know Your Vehicle.”
“Making sure our customers have the best possible experience owning their vehicle is our ultimate goal,” said Ashman.