Ford Testing ‘Smart Kiosk’ at Michigan Dealership
Innovative project could revolutionize how you service your truck.
Ford revealed this week that it has been testing an innovative new service, the “Smart Service Kiosk,” at Lafontaine Ford in Birch Run, Michigan, since January. The Blue Oval plans to assess the results of this initial test to determine next steps before committing to additional testing or implementation. But from what we know, the Smart Service Kiosk sounds great for those who, when confronted with truck or car maintenance issues, loathe having to schedule their lives around a check-up or servicing.
In an effort to save its customers time and make their lives easier, the always-innovative Ford has teamed with Panasonic on the exciting new project. The industry-first Smart Service Kiosk is aimed at making servicing Ford vehicles a snap via an automated and self-service system that will be accessible any time. When it comes to returning to the dealership for routine servicing or to fix a problem, the kiosk allows Ford customers to visit at their convenience. They can drop off and pick up their vehicle key or obtain keys to a loaner vehicle, select needed services from a quick-pick menu, and pay for service using a credit card.
“At Ford, our goal always is to make customers’ lives better through our products and services,” says Brad Brownell, director, Ford Global Distribution Strategy. “Smart Service Kiosk enables Ford customers to drop off, pick up, select and pay for their vehicle service on their time, whether it’s outside of dealership service hours or to avoid waiting in line if the service staff is busy.”
‘The whole process of using the Kiosk took about five minutes. It took a lot of the pressure off, and I didn’t have to worry about anyone trying to upsell me.’
Designed for ease of use by Panasonic in collaboration with GoMoto, drop-off begins with customers entering their name and address using the kiosk touchscreen or by scanning their driver’s license QR code, then entering their e-mail and phone number. From there, they enter vehicle information, create a security PIN, select services from a quick-pick menu and deposit their key. Customers receive an e-mail confirmation with a QR Code that must be scanned for key retrieval if picking up via the kiosk.
At pick-up, the customer scans the supplied QR code, enters their PIN and pays their bill to retrieve their key.
Testing of the Smart Service Kiosk continues at Lafontaine Ford, where customer Donavon Black recently experienced the test service.
“The whole process of using the Kiosk from start to finish took about five minutes,” says Black. “It took a lot of the pressure off, and I didn’t have to worry about anyone trying to upsell me. It was all taken care of in one step right there at the kiosk.”
Ford’s Smart Service Kiosk sounds like another brilliant, progressive idea from the Blue Oval. We are looking forward to seeing this experiment become a reality at Ford dealerships nationwide soon.