In today’s market, customer experience is critical. A recent statement by Neale Hill, President of Ford Motor Company Africa, emphasised that customers don’t differentiate between the dealer and the manufacturer when talking about their experience. This impacts how dealers and OEMs position their offerings to customers.


One of the key focus areas should be around solving customer problems and ensuring they leave with a working vehicle coupled with a happy experience. Finger-pointing is not the solution, as it only leads to the customer losing out. This customer-focused approach is critical for dealers and OEMs as it ensures the customer is always at the centre of their business.

Learning from Experience

As expressed by Neale, Ford went through the ‘Cougar’ experience, which was a challenging period for the company. However, this phase of change taught valuable lessons about how to handle customers who are going through bad experiences. The ‘Cougar’ experience encouraged honest and transparent customer engagement while delivering on commitments, which meant customers were won over. The company worked closely with dealers to reshape what it means to give exceptional customer experience, allowing each party plays a vital role.

Services on the Customer’s Terms

For Ford Motor Company providing services on the customer’s terms is a significant mindset shift. This means putting the customer’s needs first and ensuring they are always treated with respect and care. This shift is entrenched in the company’s day-to-day operations, ensuring that everyone from staff to customers knows the importance of providing services on the customer’s terms.

In conclusion, as we navigate today’s competitive market, the significance of customer experience cannot be overstated. As highlighted by Neale, customers no longer distinguish between dealers and manufacturers when assessing their overall experience. This reality underscores the crucial need for a customer-centric approach in dealerships and OEMs.

The key focus should be on resolving customer issues and ensuring their satisfaction with a fully operational vehicle. Blaming others and finger-pointing must be avoided, as it only leads to customer dissatisfaction.

In the ever-changing automotive landscape, the customer remains at the heart of our business. By prioritizing exceptional customer experiences in products and services, we can forge stronger relationships, foster loyalty, and thrive in the marketplace.

Together, let us continue to prioritise customer experience, setting new standards of excellence in the automotive industry.