Ford to provide automatic shop referrals to drivers

By CRM staff

Toronto, Ontario — April 18, 2018 — A future where OEMs, not insurance companies, dictate which bodyshops should—and should not—make repairs has come one step closer. In the very near future, Ford will begin referring drivers to trusted collision facilities, the OEM announced during a Verifacts Guild 21 call last week.

In a special presentation, Ford’s global collision marketing manager Rob Johnston explained that all future Ford vehicles will be equipped with a modem which will alert Ford to collisions remotely. 

“Drivers will begin receiving referrals very, very shortly,” Johnson told listeners, who can already be directed to nearby certified collision facilities through its FordPass app.

The revolutionary strategy comes as the result of Ford’s desire to better connect with customers. Last year, the OEM commissioned a market research study to determine whether customers valued a collision facility referral more from a manufacturer, insurance company or friend, or if they made the choice based on the distance to a repair facility instead. Ford determined that 52 percent of people would be most influenced by manufacturers.

Johnston went on to explain that when drivers are involved in accidents it’s important that they don’t experience any damages to the vehicle from the repairs. This is one of the biggest reasons why a customer will purchase a vehicle from another OEM months later. In a survey conducted by the OEM, 27 percent of customers got rid of their vehicles within a year and a half because of the damages done during the repairs and 21 percent of the respondents got rid of their vehicles because they didn’t like the quality of the repairs.

Johnston said the survey results were enough for Ford to realize they need to be more involved in the collision experience and this would be a great idea to do that.



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