Introducing The Lincoln Way
Today marks the official opening of Lincoln’s first three stores in China. Stores located in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hangzhou are now open for business, and they bring with them a new ethos that is being dubbed The Lincoln Way.
So what is The Lincoln Way?
It’s the result of a three year investigation into all of the things that young Chinese luxury customers want. It’s described as a means to shift the sales-and-service vibe of the car buying process to an experiential one. It’s said to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach and better emphasize the individuality of the consumer through a warmer and more personalized experience.
Does any of that tell you what The Lincoln Way actually is? Nope. Such is the usefulness of buzzy language.
When it comes right down to it, The Lincoln Way is basically: a dealership designed to look less like a dealership and more like a rich person’s home (it even comes with a tea room), customer access to technology, and a well-trained staff of Lincoln specialists who make the buying/service process as straightforward as possible and also have really silly names.
Each of the three stores has a dedicated Lincoln Team, which consists of…get ready for this…the Host, the Master, and the Craftsman. No need for a butcher, baker, or candlestick maker, apparently.
In real terms: the Host is the customer service rep, the Master is the sales manager, and the Craftsman is the service manager. Each specialist has a role to fill, and they’ve all undergone extensive training at The Lincoln Institute. So, in a nutshell, they’re employees who are good at their jobs.
Customers will also have access to a Personalization Studio, which is a 46-inch LCD touchscreen that displays a nearly-to-scale image of their vehicle. That image can be controlled and configured by a smaller touchscreen on a nearby table so that the customer can determine what options they want for their vehicle. Basically, it sounds like a hologram configurator, and that’s actually pretty cool.
The Lincoln Way also includes personalized test-drive routes “tailored to each guest’s personal needs,” which, okay, sure.
As for the transparency thing, The Lincoln way mandates that customers be able to watch their vehicles getting worked on through cameras linked to a vehicle’s E-Console. Lincoln also wants to make routine maintenance and necessary repairs as hassle-free a process as possible, which is why all customers with repairs that take more than two hours to complete will have access to a complimentary loaner vehicle.
Also, here’s a real kicker: if you ever have a part replaced on your Lincoln by the Craftsman or one of his service techs, you can get the old part returned to you in a specialized Lincoln box and labeled with its name, extraction date, and the name of the technician. Now, how’s that for service!
“The launch of The Lincoln Way and our first Lincoln stores in China marks an important milestone for Lincoln’s reinvention as a global luxury automotive brand,” said Kumar Galhotra, president of Lincoln. “The Lincoln Way demonstrates how a storied brand with a nearly 100-year history is innovating for our Chinese customers while staying true to our roots of personal service. Our Lincoln customers will not only get the very best when it comes to product, but also when it comes to the entire ownership experience.”