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Ford Motor Company has always been on the cutting edge of emerging technologies, always with an eye toward an improved and seamless customer experience. Ford officials believe they have found the answer to an enhanced customer experience in FordPass.
FordPass, which will be available this spring to Ford vehicle owners and non-owners alike, is a free platform that reimagines the relationship between automaker and consumer, and aims to do for car owners what iTunes did for music fans.
According to a company release, during an 18-month period team members charged with improving Ford’s relationship with customers covered the walls and ceilings of their Command Center in Dearborn, Michigan with sketches, post-its and printouts–benchmarking customer experiences of other leading-class firms.
During a three-day period last April, Ford employees camped out in conference rooms at a Detroit hotel with some of the best mobile, design, and customer experience minds in the world in their quest to enhance the company’s relationship with its customers, the release said.
As a result, the 72-hour marathon yielded what the company considers one of its most significant innovations ever: FordPass.
FordPass features four elements to benefit members: Marketplace includes mobility services; FordGuides help consumers move more efficiently; Appreciation, where members are recognized for their loyalty; and FordHubs, where consumers can experience the company’s latest innovations.
Benefits of FordPass include transportation services like reserving and paying for parking in advance, with ride sharing, car sharing and multimodal transportation services coming in the future. FordGuides provide assistance to any FordPass member who needs help on the commute – regardless of location.
At the end of the three days in April, the team came up with the model of FordPass, one of about 10 names was born. What started off simply as “the big idea,” the platform evolved out of brainstorming a day in the life of an ideal member, then was refined over the next several months to mirror the wants and needs of a consumer.
The team determined this person – whether a vehicle owner or not – could have the following daily interactions with FordPass:
Start his or her car via the FordPass app in the morning
Use FordPay to locate and pay for parking in a downtown lot
Redeem perks at an affinity partner
Instantly pay Ford Credit bill
Chat with a FordGuide about where to find a FordHub to learn more about a new technology
Use FordPass app to call roadside assistance to fix a flat tire
“Instead of having a handful of interactions with consumers each year, we determined we could actually have a handful of interactions each day, with the intention to make people’s lives easier and more rewarding,” said Stephen Odell, Ford executive vice president, Global Marketing, Sales and Service. “That’s how we decided we could elevate and participate in the full customer experience.”
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