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Will pampering of customers give Lincoln an edge over competitors?

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(Read caption) A staff member stands near a Lincoln MKZ Sedan on display during a press event in Beijing, China (April 17, 2014).

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Lincoln hasn't fared especially well with luxury car customers in recent years. Its models--often criticized for being ungainly and inelegant--have been outmaneuvered and overshadowed by sleeker rides from Asian and European competitors. Matthew McConaughey hasn't helped

But looks and pitchmen aren't everything. In these days of diminished brand loyalty, Lincoln is betting that customer service can give its luxury brand an edge. And so, today Lincoln announced that it would offer standard pickup and delivery service on all new vehicles as of the 2017 model-year, beginning with the all-new Continental.

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What, exactly, does that mean for Lincoln owners? Mostly, it means pampering, particularly when your Lincoln needs to go to the shop. Simply contact your local dealer, and they'll send a Service Valet with a loaner vehicle to any location you like. You take the loaner, and the Valet will take your car back to the shop, where it'll be serviced and washed, then returned to you--again, wherever you like.

Lincoln has piloted the program with a select group of dealers since May 2015, and the results have shown that participants are more likely to purchase another Lincoln in the future and more likely to recommend Lincolns to their friends.

Pickup and delivery might seem like a simple thing, but Lincoln realizes that of all the bells and whistles it might offer on high-end models, the luxury offering most likely to turn heads is time. That's particularly true in America, where we're so worried about our jobs and our money that few of us take the measly number of vacation days we're allotted each year. 

The standard pickup and delivery program is another part of Lincoln's expanding "Quiet Luxury" portfolio of services. Other such services include "Black Label" personal shopping assistance to help consumers find the perfect Lincoln, and "Date Night" extended test drives. 

The all-new 2017 Continental and Lincoln's standard pickup and delivery service launch this fall. 

This story first appeared on The Car Connection.