DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford Motor Co. announced it will begin testing Panasonic’s Smart Service Kiosk with the aim of increasing customer convenience related to vehicle service. The kiosk was designed to allow customers to come to the dealership at any time to drop off and pick up their vehicle key or obtain keys to a loaner vehicle, select needed services from a quick-pick menu, and pay for service using a credit or debit card.
“At Ford, our goal always is to make customers’ lives better, through both our products and services,” said Brad Brownell, director of global distribution strategy for Ford. “Smart Service Kiosk enables Ford customers to drop off, pick up, select and pay for their vehicle service on their time, whether it’s outside of dealership service hours or to avoid waiting in line if the service staff is busy.”
Designed by Panasonic in collaboration with GoMoto, dropoff begins with customers entering their name and address using the kiosk touchscreen or by scanning their driver’s license QR code, then entering their email and phone number. From there, they enter their vehicle’s information, create a PIN, select services from a menu, and deposit their key. Customers should then receive an email confirmation with a QR code that must be scanned if they return to the kiosk to pay any outstanding charges and retrieve their key.
Testing of the Smart Service Kiosk began at LaFontaine Ford of Birch Run (Mich.) in January and is slated to span a 90-day trial period. Both Ford and Panasonic plan to assess the results of this initial test to determine next steps before committing to additional testing or implementation.
Ford customer Donavon Black recently used the kiosk at LaFontaine.
“The whole process of using the Kiosk from start to finish took about five minutes,” said Black. “It took a lot of the pressure off and I didn’t have to worry about anyone trying to upsell me. It even asked me if I wanted to approve a dollar amount. It was all taken care of in one step, right there at the kiosk.”