The dealerships' salespeople and designated Sync experts are happy to help anyone who calls or stops by with a question, but they started the Saturday morning sessions about three years ago as a more formalized way to encourage customers to seek assistance.
"Other features they can pretty much figure out, but the Sync system can be tough," O'Connor said. "If they are still having a problem, we offer a personalized one-on-one consultation with that customer for however long it takes until they feel comfortable — an hour, two hours or whatever."
Each seminar begins as a question-and-answer session but sometimes evolves into a de facto product-development focus group. The expert leading the gathering then takes time to sit in the customers' vehicles and resolve whatever problems they're having.
"The questions do get tougher as more stuff is added on," said Samer Awazem, a Jack Demmer Lincoln salesman who ran the seminar that Stevenson and Whitehead attended. "Sometimes it's the car, but most of the time, it's the customer input."
Pat Montague-Wade, a retired Ford plant supervisor, said her phone was constantly disconnecting from the 2017 Continental she had bought two weeks earlier. Awazem hopped into the passenger seat and navigated through the touch-screen menus to figure out why.
"My granddaughter keeps telling me to get a new phone, but I like my flip phone," Montague-Wade said.
Awazem said her granddaughter might be onto something, but he also removed the phone's battery to reset it before trying to re-pair it with Sync. In a few seconds, the screen confirmed that it had recognized the phone correctly.
"That's the first time somebody tried that," Montague-Wade said, visibly impressed to see that it worked.
Back inside the dealership, which normally is closed on weekends, Greg Baranyai said he has come to several of the sessions to get insight on his 2013 MKZ and his wife's 2015 MKC and found them beneficial.
"I pick up a couple tips here and there," said Baranyai, a package handler with FedEx. "Once you learn how to use the navigation, it's not bad."