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Strengthening its focus on customer service, Ford India recently launched Quick Lane service center in Bangalore, which is the first such outlet by Ford in India. Ford’s Quick Lane service focuses on ‘No Appointment Necessary’ and ‘While You Wait’ service, which ensures quick service and utmost transparency. The company feels that new car buyers would prefer to watch their car getting serviced and Quick Lane offers such an opportunity to them. 65% of Ford Figo car buyers are first time owners.

At the launch of Metro Ford Quick Lane service center, we had a round table conference with John Cooper (executive director, customer service operations, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa) and PK Umashankar (VP, customer service operations, Ford India). Quick Lane offers Ford customers quick regular service and thus diagnostic work is not done at such outlets. With regular service being the main focus, Quick Lane service centers have better inventory management, reduced material movement and higher productivity. This results in cars getting serviced in quicker time, enabling owners to wait in the WI-FI enabled customer room, which also offers a view of the car being serviced. Owners can also talk to technicians.

What is more important is Ford’s focus on customer care and reducing cost of ownership. Scheduled maintenance of Ford cars is cheaper than its competitors. Ford has adopted the use of child parts, which enables lower cost of repairs. So in case of a mirror damage, one can simply replace the mirror or body covering, rather than replacing the complete assembly, resulting in much cheaper repair costs. The same has been adopted on the doors, starter motor assembly and various other parts of Ford cars. The American automaker is also focusing on localization to reduce cost of spare parts. The EcoSport will have 85% local content.

Car ownership is a complete experience and good after sales service plays a pivotal role in ensuring customer satisfaction. Ford plans to increase its outlets to 500 units by 2015. Quick Lane service centers are planned for more cities in the near future. These outlets will be opened in major city areas, resulting in a hefty investment in real estate. This shows the commitment of Ford in the Indian market and we expect the company to launch 100 more Quick Lane outlets in the future.

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