Customer loyalty is a concept that increasingly important to business success, and with vehicles, it’s not just about the vehicle purchase or lease every few years. Customers today have far more opportunity to spend discretional income on vehicle-related services, whether it’s mechanical or digital services, during the lifetime of their vehicle ownership.
To take advantage of the expanded opportunities, Ford is introducing FordPass Rewards, an app-based loyalty program that allows Ford drivers to earn points when they buy additional services. FordPass is replacing the company’s earlier attempt at loyalty program, Owner Advantage Rewards, as it wasn’t popular with either dealers (who had to partially fund the program) or customers.
With FordPass Rewards, members can earn and redeem FordPass Rewards Points at participating Ford dealerships, and watch their points and options accumulate via the mobile app. They can use the points on future services for their vehicle. This time, the program is fully funded by Ford, which should make it more popular with dealers. Nearly all Ford dealers in the U.S. have signed up for the new program, which was launched in April.
“Our old program worked, but it didn’t have the reach, flexibility and engagement from our brand to make it successful,” Jason Sprawka, Ford’s director of U.S. customer experience, told Automotive News. “The dealers made this program better. They challenged us to redesign it so that it was more customer-centric.”
The program, which doesn’t require ownership of a Ford (it’s available on leased vehicles), provides customers with a sign-up bonus. Any Ford driver who downloads the FordPass smartphone app and connects it to their new vehicle is awarded 42,000 points, which corresponds to about $210 in credit. Essentially, just for signing up, drivers can get the approximate equivalent of three free oil and air filters changes.
Going forward, members can earn more points by completing a retail service transaction at participating dealer; having their vehicles serviced at a participating dealer; by setting a preferred dealer; by participating in some marketing programs such as customer surveys or watching videos; and by using some services on the FordPass App, such as finding and paying for parking.