The lease assistants work with about 1,000 customers from select dealerships in Philadelphia and New York to navigate the lease-end process four months before the scheduled expiration date. Each customer is assigned a team, and team members will have everything they need to know about the customer's account, avoiding the issue of bouncing someone around to representatives who are unfamiliar with the account.
The personalized offer platform, "Drive New. Now," shows customers a vehicle it believes they're likely to lease next and a payment estimate. The featured vehicle is on the lot of the customer's originating dealership. If customers lease a 2016 Edge, for example, they likely would see a 2019 Edge in the same trim level. Or they could choose an upgraded offer, such as a 2019 Explorer on the same lot.
"We're really excited about this, because with this new project we have been able to deliver to customers the right vehicle at the right time," Conyers said. "We're not showing you an F-150 that you could go build; we are showing you a real-life vehicle sitting in your dealer's inventory."
The captive started the pilot with lease customers, but if successful it plans to expand to finance customers, Conyers said. Because about 300,000 Ford customers' leases expire each year, "we knew we can make a direct impact right now today with those customers," she said.