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The Spaminator
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Lincoln Transforms Customer Experience at Each Touchpoint – from Shopping to Ownership
Ford Media

DEARBORN, Mich., April 2, 2012 — Lincoln is reinventing how it interacts with customers, collaborating with a world-renowned organization of hotel concierges to create a better service experience. In addition, Lincoln will be providing around-the-clock online concierge services.

“We realize that great new vehicles are only one part of Lincoln’s transformation,” says Jim Farley, Group Vice President, Global Marketing, Sales and Service.
“Outstanding cars like the all-new Lincoln MKZ have to be matched with personal and innovative customer service at every step.”

Les Clefs d’Or and the Lincoln Academy

For the first time in the automotive industry, Les Clefs d’Or - the international association of hotel concierges - is sharing its expertise helping Lincoln to reinvent how it serves customers.

Les Clefs d’Or is consulting on the new Lincoln Academy, a sales and service associate training program for Lincoln dealership personnel aimed at training them to deliver the same personalized service experiences customers receive at top luxury hotels.

“We are very pleased to be working with Les Clefs d’Or, as no one knows how to surprise and delight luxury customers better than a concierge who wears the Golden Keys,” Farley said. “Our pioneering collaboration with Les Clefs d’Or is another proof point showing how serious Lincoln is about delivering world-class customer service.”

The Lincoln Academy is a long-term commitment to culture change in dealerships. Shaping the curriculum is a team of training professionals with direct experience in the hospitality industry. These Lincoln Luxury Culture Ambassadors will apply their expertise in client service to the new Lincoln training curriculum. The program for the Lincoln Academy kicks off this summer.

The Lincoln 24/7 Online Concierge

For times when shoppers and customers are not able to make it to a dealership, Lincoln will begin offering a new online service available around the clock. It will offer people a more personalized experience, including live interaction with a highly trained concierge who can engage through interactive video.

The Google 2011 Automotive Shopping Behavior Study indicates that customers spend up to eight hours researching their purchase and visiting on average 18 sources during this process.

Internet users, however, are less satisfied overall with their experience, with lower satisfaction levels in 16 or 18 shopping measures compared with those who did not shop over the Internet, according to a ResearchNow consumer survey.

Starting early next year, Lincoln 24/7 Online Concierge will help create a smoother transition between the research online shoppers do and the experience they have in dealerships.

The new online service will be accessible through the Lincoln website, It will provide a more seamless transition between the customer’s online research and the initial visit to a dealership through:

>A personal, guided walkthrough of all aspects of new Lincoln vehicles, services and competitive comparisons

>A personalized portfolio, logging all customer vehicle preferences, which then can be shared with the customer’s preferred dealer

>The ability for customers to save and access their portfolio information from virtually any platform, including laptop, iPad or smartphone

>Full access for the customer’s dealer of choice, to customer profile and saved vehicle information

Lincoln also is creating an iPad App for dealer sales associates to use to walk their customers through the next phase of the shopping process.

Other ideas are under study, as well, aimed at deliver more personalized experiences for Lincoln customers throughout shopping, buying and ownership periods.

“We won’t stop exploring different ways to be more than just a purveyor of luxury motor cars,” Farley said. “We are just as committed to making our customers be more efficient as we are to creating a stand-out Lincoln lineup of vehicles, both now and in the future.”
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