VIDEO: A New Era of Dealer Training and Customer Service is Here

May 01, 2024

Ford is now rolling out a new digital and video-based dealer training platform, accessible 24/7. It features a personalized data-driven dashboard for each employee, virtual coaching and a stacked cinematic content library. Keep reading for an introduction to Ford University by Abigail (Abby) Vietor, Global Director of Dealer Training & Productivity, and Head of Ford University. 

A wonderful fact about Ford is that our U.S. customers – in almost every corner of the country – are a stone’s throw from one of our 3,000 dealers that employ 164,000 salespeople, technicians, and service managers. That sprawling footprint, however, can also add complexity when it comes to communicating an array of new products, software and services that we’re working hard to deliver for customers.  Our answer to this challenge is Ford University, a new training and productivity platform designed to empower our dealers to become the product specialists for our customers.

Ford's commitment to customer service isn't new; it dates back over 120 years to our first dealership in San Francisco in 1903, when customers still had a choice between an automobile and a horse for transportation. The rapid expansion of our dealer network since then has been driven by our dedication to serving as guides in the automotive industry.

The automotive landscape is evolving through the adoption of electrification and software defined vehicles. Customers want the shopping experience to be as transparent and simple as purchasing any other product, seeking specialized support  on the latest vehicle technologies. Meanwhile, many dealers have expressed the challenge of managing the swift pace of new products and technology developments.

This mutual desire for specialized support and guidance has led to the inception of Ford University. Joining Ford from the tech industry a little over a year ago, my goal was to reimagine our customer purchase experience. We've assembled a team of video producers, content creators, and training specialists dedicated to creating engaging content that reinforces complex topics and  information. This helps with the goal of ensuring  that our dealers are not just salespeople, but trusted advisors equipped with stories, insights, and the knowledge needed to make genuine connections with customers.

The traditional approach to training creates opportunities to enhance long-term knowledge retention, a challenge we're addressing head-on with Ford University. Utilizing spaced reinforcement, we're helping to capitalize on those opportunities helping dealer employees retain what they learn and can apply it effectively in their interactions with customers using a “teach, show, practice, reinforce” framework.

Ford University is a new digital and video-based dealer training platform, accessible anytime and anywhere. 

It features a personalized, data-driven dashboard for each dealer employee, gamified learning experiences, 24/7 on-demand AI-supported virtual coaching, and a cinematic-style content library produced by award-winning producers and creatives who have spent all or portions of their careers creating popular television shows and feature films across major networks and streaming services.

We're rolling out Ford University to Ford  dealers across the United States starting May 1, with plans to expand further. This platform represents our commitment to providing customers with the even more knowledgeable and skilled dealers, enhancing the value of every customer experience. I'm excited for the positive changes Ford University will bring to our customers and dealers alike. It's a win-win for everyone.

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