How would you fancy going on a ‘date’ with a car manufacturer? It’s just one of the ideas Lincoln is considering as it overhauls its customer care programme.

At the New York motor show last week the Ford-owned brand revealed not only some new metal – in the shape of the striking MKZ luxury saloon, which is the first car from Lincoln’s new design studio headed by Max Wolff – but also a raft of plans aimed at improving customer service.

Lincoln is making a push further upmarket, and trying to woo customers from brands such as Lexus and Cadillac. It feels that it needs to offer a top-notch experience for people who might be interested in buying its products and those who already have.

Take Lincoln Concierge for example. It’s a 24/7 online service where potential customers can talk face-to-face (albeit via the medium of the internet) to a Lincoln specialist who can answer queries about model range, specifications and even compare Lincoln’s variants against those of a rival.

Lincoln studied Google research that shows that internet shoppers spend up to eight hours researching their purchase and visit on average 18 sources during this process. But online consumers also reported lower customer satisfaction compared to conventional shoppers.