Ford’s F-150 pickup truck is the best-selling vehicle month after month, but few of the automaker’s other vehicles rarely crack the top 10. Ford is hoping a laser focus on customer service will change that and is introducing a slew of initiatives aimed at wooing buyers’ loyalty — not unlike the emphasis the automaker places on its perennially popular pickup truck.
“If we truly want to be serious about customer experience, we have to resource it like we do F-150,” Elena Ford, the automaker’s chief customer experience officer, said in a statement.
Here are four ways Ford plans to invest in you like you’re an F-150:
1. Brownie Points
First is an expansion of the FordPass app; it currently allows owners to monitor their vehicles and make service appointments; now it’s being expanded to include a points-based rewards system. Customers who purchase or lease a new Ford vehicle will receive points they can use toward complimentary maintenance, parts, service or a new vehicle at participating Ford dealerships. Ford says it’s the most comprehensive loyalty-rewards program in the industry.
2. Centering on Customer Service
Truck shoppers, whom Ford said are already the automaker’s most loyal and most demanding customer group, are about to get even more attention. Ford is opening a new nationwide customer-service contact center in Houston — the world’s largest truck market — staffed with specialized agents solely dedicated to serving truck owners. Based on Lincoln’s customer-service model, Ford says a staff member stays with the customer from first contact until every service and experience matter is resolved rather than passing the customer to other departments.
3. Mobile Maintenance
Ford is also planning to make house calls under its new mobile service pilot program, which brings vehicle maintenance and light service to customers. Currently, the pilot program runs in California and will expand this month to dealers in Texas, Illinois, New Jersey and Florida, and Ford said it may expand it further based on demand.
4. Putting the ‘Ease’ in ‘Lease’
The automaker also will make leasing a vehicle easier with two new pilot programs. Personal Lease Assistant pairs shoppers with an agent to help them navigate the lease renewal process. The program will launch in Philadelphia and New York. The “Drive New. Now” pilot works with Ford Credit to provide personalized vehicle offers to shoppers in market.
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