Can an App Create a Customer Experience? Ford Thinks So

At the North American International Auto Show, Ford unveiled an interesting new program to the world – FordPass. According to The Detroit News, Ford’s goal with this app is to create a centralized hub which allows Ford owners to utilize some unique services related to ride-sharing and mobility. Some of the planned features include FordGuides, which allow Ford owners to ask questions and get answers via text or phone 24 hours per day; and FordHubs, which are actual buildings Ford owners can visit to learn more about Ford technology. Additionally, Ford owners will be able to utilize the app to obtain free parking at airports. These parking lots then rent out the owner’s vehicle while they are away. Ford owners will be able to use the app to locate and reserve parking spaces as well. According to Ford, it is seeking to expand the app to include ride and car sharing as well. The app also introduces a new loyalty program which will reward app users with points that they can redeem for prizes.

 

While I can certainly see the value of utilizing some of these services should an owner live in a dense market with limited parking like New York or Los Angeles, it would seem as if the initiative seeks to keep Ford owners “in-house,” so to speak. Most of these services already exist. And the offerings are via partnerships with existing companies. Consumers could easily download free apps from the companies whose services they desire already -- without a Ford branded app. It’s also not clear whether a consumer would be willing to allow a parking garage to rent out their vehicle in exchange for free parking at an airport. Trading a small daily parking charge in a long-term parking lot, for some stranger driving around in your vehicle, seems perhaps a bit of a stretch. So, what’s motivating Ford to provide this app. And, how will they get consumers to use it? The integrated loyalty program is the key.

 

Ford is piggybacking, if you will, on the more popular services that are rising in the peer-to-peer economy. I would not be surprised to see Ford launch an Uber-like service in the future. Wait. It just did. Ford also announced its Dynamic Shuttle Service, which is an Uber-type service currently used exclusively by employees. This service, in partnership with IBM, is also being used to test their Smart Mobility Experimentation Platform, which “will aggregate data every 10 to 15 seconds to provide drivers with information like the route with the least amount of traffic and areas with open parking spots.”

 

Only time will tell if Ford is making the right move. It would seem that trends such as ride and car sharing, along with the explosion of Uber (worth $60 billion after only 5 years) may indicate that it is. However, remember that while these services may be popular for consumers that live in densely populated markets, it’s hard to fathom rural owners taking advantage of or needing most of these. While the loyalty program may attract Ford owners to access these services through their centralized app, we’ll just have to wait and see how owners actually respond once it is launched in the Spring.

Views: 28

Comment

You need to be a member of DealerELITE.net to add comments!

Join DealerELITE.net

Latest Activity

Dave Anderson's blog post was featured

Four Steps to Productively Process Disappointment

Disappointments are a fact of life. The question isn't whether we'll experience them, but whether…See More
4 hours ago
Dave Anderson posted a blog post

Four Steps to Productively Process Disappointment

Disappointments are a fact of life. The question isn't whether we'll experience them, but whether…See More
14 hours ago
Sally Whitesell's blog post was featured
yesterday
Bill Wittenmyer's video was featured

#WittsWiseWords: Do You Know What Your Competitors Are Doing

Scoping out your dealership competition is good business. Bill Wittenmyer says it can help you determine what prospects want that you currently aren't providing.
yesterday
Simon Hopes posted a blog post

American Made New Ford Trucks for Sale!

This is a unique time in history because we are witnessing the rebranding of America on the global…See More
yesterday
Bill Wittenmyer posted a video

#WittsWiseWords: Do You Know What Your Competitors Are Doing

Scoping out your dealership competition is good business. Bill Wittenmyer says it can help you determine what prospects want that you currently aren't provid...
yesterday
Michael Trasatti posted a video

How to Work With Millennials

Mike Trasatti shares his thoughts about hiring and working with Millennials in this video blog.
yesterday
Jim Flint posted a blog post
Friday
Sally Whitesell posted a blog post
Friday
Lehel Reeves posted a video

How Video Leads to More Sales

Lehel Reeves shares why consumers prefer video and how dealerships can lose sales if they fail to provide it.
Friday
Courtney Evans posted a blog post
Friday
Dave Anderson posted a blog post

Develop More Mental Toughness and Killer Instinct

No matter what level you're at, whatever your role, whatever your sport, if you're committed to…See More
Thursday
Damian Boudreaux posted a blog post

Our Monthly Webcast

We’re back with…See More
Thursday
DealerELITE posted a blog post
Oct 9
Bill Wittenmyer posted a video

#WittsWiseWords: Don't Let Your Ego Get in the Way of Your Paycheck

The best way to grow your team and grow your paycheck at the same time? In this edition of Witt's Wise Words, Bill Wittenmyer says keep your ego in check wit...
Oct 9
Dave Anderson posted a blog post
Oct 8
John Sternal posted a blog post

5 “Spooktacular” Lease Deals for Halloween

Swapalease.com Compiled 5 Most Reasonably Priced Automobile Leases Around the…See More
Oct 8
Scot Eisenfelder posted a video

Why Creativity Can Lead to More Service Revenue

Scot Eisenfelder explains how creativity can help dealers capture more service revenue from recalls.
Oct 4
Mike theCarGuy Correra posted a video

Are You Forgetting Your Dealership's Google My Business Page?

Account Manager Mike Correra explains why dealerships shouldn't neglect their Google My Business page in this video blog.
Oct 4

Get Newsletter

© 2019   Created by DealerELITE.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service