On the backend of yet another announcement about the upcoming partnership with Volkswagen, auto manufacturer Ford is looking to self-driving vehicles as its car of the future. Part of succeeding in this market, which has a number of tech companies competing for space, is thinking of autonomous vehicle as a per-mile service – similar to what you’d see with your local airline.
So far, the company is soaring, thanks to research and development on this new technology. But it’s also charging ahead with new management changes, including putting Elena Ford in charge of the company’s global customer experience.
Elena Ford is not just a long-time executive at Ford; she’s also the great-great granddaughter of company founder Henry Ford. While some Fords continue to work at the company, Elena Ford is the only woman to carry on a long-lasting relationship with the company that shares her name.
Elena Ford’s new role as chief customer experience officer is about figuring out what works for Ford customers, from start to finish. This new position demands that she create a uniform Ford experience across the board, in any country where Ford has a presence.
Elena Ford has already played a key role in bringing Ford to the tech forefront. The Ford heiress was deeply involved in the development of the FordPass app, which gives customers a number of options for finding repair centers, tracking the health of cars, and more. When a Ford customer downloads FordPass, they’re given a suite of services to maintain their cars, and Elena Ford is largely responsible for this tech success.
Elena Ford worked with developers in Silicon Valley, along with a few others, to finish the app in 18 months. Over that time, some parts of the app were scrapped – including a partnership with a company that would have allowed Ford customers not only to park at airports for free but also to rent out their cars during that same time. The company responsible for this concept was unable to deliver, so that particular feature never made it into FordPass.
Elena Ford was also responsible for the development of the company’s other app, The Lincoln Way, which targets Lincoln customers.
For more than 24 years, Elena Ford has worked up to where she is now, developing the customer experience across the board. With stints as vice president of global dealer and customer experience, director of global marketing, sales and service operations, and more, Elena Ford has been developing the messaging and customer experience for Ford. In her new capacity, she will work to streamline and unify services all over the world.
With Elena Ford at the customer experience helm, Ford customers will learn to expect the same service journey no matter where they are. From the credit department to the service department to the sales department, each time a customer interacts with Ford, they’ll get the same great service.
Elena Ford’s role is especially important during this time, because the Ford company itself is pivoting to building lifelong customer relationships. Ford no longer wants to settle for selling a truck or SUV to a young couple; the company wants that young couple to become lifelong customers that buy as their lifestyles change. In other words, when single people develop long-term relationships, have families, and then become empty nesters, Elena Ford wants them to consider buying the right car for their lifestyles at any given time in their lives.
Elena Ford has the strong backing of management to help develop the new Ford experience. Look for Elena to deliver outstanding customer service the way she does now – with a global eye and years of experience.