Ford and Lincoln’s roadside assistance program, which provides 24/7 service to customers through a dedicated contact center and the FordPass or Lincoln Way app, now offers a specialized, streamlined experience designed for health care workers and first responders.
“All of our customers are important,” says Marty Field, business assistance and customer support manager, Ford Customer Experience team. “But we wanted to do something extra for those on the frontlines right now working so hard to keep us healthy and safe. If they’re in need of roadside assistance, we’ll give them white-glove service to get them moving again as quickly as possible.”
Ford’s roadside assistance service can help with towing, winching, flat tires, lockouts and fuel delivery. In addition, customers can track the help that’s on the way in real time through the customer’s smart phone.
As of mid-April, customers that call for assistance are offered an immediate option to identify themselves as a health care provider or first responder. Those who do are routed to a specialized handling team based in Clarksville, TN., that provides proactive case management and a tailored customer experience.
“These agents have been empowered with tools that assist with expedited service and any additional support these customers may need,” Field says. “We know that roadside events can be stressful, and robust communication is imperative in these situations.”
That’s why the center works on an “own the call” model. One specially trained agent will stay on top of a customer’s case until it’s resolved, rather than passing them to other agents or departments.
To date, Ford’s Roadside Assistance team has serviced approximately 350 prioritized events for first responders and health care workers, providing service within 33 minutes, opposed to a 60- minute national average. And those customers who responded to a survey rated service satisfaction at 9.3 out of 10.
The new service, developed and implemented by the team in less than 48 hours, is possible because of less traffic on the roads – and less roadside events due to stay-at-home orders. It was a creative solution developed through the lens of the customer and with the current situation in mind.
“Currently we have the capacity and the underpinnings to do this without taking anything away from our other customers at no additional cost to the company,” Field says. “As we move forward, we’ll be monitoring the program to see if it’s feasible to continue.
“But for right now, it’s our way of giving back.”