Ford Uses SMART Technology to Innovate Customer Experience at Dealerships

Last week Elena Ford, granddaughter of Ford Motor Company founder and innovator Henry Ford, took the stage at the North American International Auto Show and talked about the evolving Ford dealership customer service experience.

As part of their SMART Technology (SMARTT) program, Ford and Lincoln service centers are putting customers’ vehicle information where service advisors can best use it – at their fingertips, expanding to mobile technology from a desktop based interface.

As described by Ford, the SMARTT system is about the manufacturer’s four core principles- control, respect, trust, and relationship.

First introduced in 2014, the SMARTT system allows customers to take more control over their vehicle maintenance and dealership experience allowing them to schedule service appointments with Ford and Lincoln service centers detailing exactly what service is needed. In SMARTT’s first year, online appointment volumes tripled.

“We envision an experience built on trust, transparency and personal treatment, and SMARTT helps us achieve that,” said Frederiek Toney, Ford vice president, Customer Service Division.

This March, SMARTT is launching two additional phases, using mobile technology to further enhance customer greeting, write-up and vehicle servicing processes:

  • SMARTT Mobile Write-Up, phase two, puts tablets in the hands of advisors in dealership service lanes to help provide a more seamless service experience
  • SMARTT Inspect, phase three, allows technicians and parts department personnel to access the tablet-entered information to obtain vehicle service history and more efficiently fulfill service orders

“The new phases of SMARTT are strong examples of how Ford is using technology not for technology’s sake, but to truly make a difference in our customers’ lives,” Toney said.

Following its US launch, the new digital customer service platform will launch in Europe, Asia, and South America with culture-specific modifications for each regional user.

image courtesy of Ford Motor Company

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