Lincoln Ensures Staff Offer Personalized Experiences
Lincoln Institute Reimagining Talent Development in Automotive Industry
SHANGHAI, China — In Lincoln’s efforts to enhance China’s premium automotive industry through the one-size-fits-one approach of The Lincoln Way, the Lincoln Institute plays a vital role as a staff training center and an incubator of innovation.
Based in the prosperous Xuhui District of Shanghai, the Lincoln Institute trains all current dealership staff, as well as those that will work in the 60 Lincoln Stores that are on track to open by the end of 2016. All dealership staff, from managers to door attendants, are required to graduate from the Lincoln Institute before serving customers.
“The Lincoln Institute is where our dealership staff learn about the importance of the consumer experience inherent in The Lincoln Way,” said Robert Parker, president, Lincoln China. “Our unique educational programs combine automotive, high-end hospitality and retail training. This will not only help our dealership staff deliver the The Lincoln Way, but will also bring lasting benefits to their careers.”
Traditional dealership training programs are often one-way lectures and focus on processing customers as fast as possible for higher sales. However, Lincoln Institute staff are encouraged to explore Lincoln for themselves and focus on building lasting relationship with customers.
Study – An Immersive Journey Through Luxury
All dealership staff are first inducted to the College of Hospitality and Luxury, where they take experience-based courses in luxury and high-end hospitality.
Trainees receive lessons in Lincoln’s unique “Six Senses” program. Here, trainees learn first-hand how visuals, audio, touch, aroma, taste and emotion influence the customer experience. They will apply improvements to facilities, scent, store displays, refreshments and staff appearance and courtesy to enhance customer satisfaction.
Accompanying the College of Hospitality and Luxury are:
● The College of Core Competency, where Lincoln Store staff receive systematic training in dealership operation and management.
● The College of Technology and Engineering, where technicians receive training on product repair and maintenance. Practical applications are available at a mock workshop with real Lincoln vehicles.
● The College of Human Resource Management and Support, where the Lincoln Team receives training in personnel recruitment, assessment and talent retention.
Some 40 leading experts from automotive, high-end hospitality and retailing industries teach the courses, and the training days required for graduation are above industry-average.
Practical Application – Real-Life Scenarios and Needs
Lincoln is also using innovative teaching methods. Instead of merely running through information and memorizing specifics, trainees explore real Lincoln vehicles and discuss ways to relate customer lives with Lincoln’s product highlights. A library, a teahouse, a brainstorm room and other facilities are available for a more engaging and interactive study.
Acting as customers, instructors of the Lincoln Institute’s four colleges are constantly reviewing and examining trainees and their knowledge at a mockup Lincoln Store onsite. Trainee performance in the dealership simulations plays a vital role in determining readiness for graduation.
Innovation – An Open Forum for Upgrading The Lincoln Way
The Lincoln Institute is also a hub for innovation in The Lincoln Way, developing innovative ideas like The Virtual Lincoln Way, which was the product of much research and many tests.
The Virtual Lincoln Way enables customers to talk to Lincoln Hosts online and shop for vehicles virtually. Initially, the idea was based on customer demands received by Lincoln. It then materialized after rounds of testing at the Lincoln dealership mockup at the institute.
The Lincoln Way experience was made to be as real as possible. The Lincoln Institute is built into an intimate, home-like environment, is as welcoming and relaxing as an actual Lincoln Store, and is maintained by a professional five-star hotel team. Trainees can also receive virtual tutoring sessions remotely from any Lincoln Store nationwide.
The Lincoln Institute will continue to grow with added courses in business courtesy, branding and marketing, providing continuous support to Lincoln Stores’ operations and sustainable development.