Rivian will really start deliveries in June, as we first stated in July 2020. The first vehicle to be delivered will be the R1T. The R1S SUV is expected to arrive in August. Rivian itself said that to reservation holders in a recent email message that also revealed something exciting: the Rivian Guides program.
Each Rivian vehicle owner will receive the email address and phone number of a Rivian consultant that will be their contact at the company for anything they have to solve or ask. The idea is to keep the same Rivian Guide through all the ownership experience. In other words, from the moment you buy one until you decide to sell it.
The Rivian Guides will be located in Normal, Illinois, where the vehicles will first be produced. According to RJ Scaringe, the company’s CEO, that will help them know how these vehicles are produced from personal experience, not only a theoretical one. Being trained about something is different from seeing that something be manufactured.
What the company does not mention is that these Guides will also help Rivian improve build quality. If any of them detects issues, they can identify quickly what is affecting production and fix it as soon as possible.
The first pre-order holders to meet their Rivian Guides will be the ones that reserved a Launch Edition R1T. According to Rivian, that will happen in May and will take a while since introductions will be made on a one-to-one basis.
This is the message sent to Rivian owners, shared by ohmman at the TMC Forums:
“We’d like you to meet the Rivian Guides.
As we’ve been building our vehicles and support services in preparation for deliveries this June, you’ve been patiently waiting. We can’t thank you enough for being on this journey with us and allowing us the time to get the details right.
Your experience as a Rivian owner is our top priority, and I am excited to introduce the people who are going to help make owning a Rivian truly unique.
Say hello to the Rivian Guides, your personal connection to everything at Rivian.
As a preorder holder — and soon-to-be owner — you will be paired with a dedicated Rivian Guide who will serve as your single point of contact from the moment your vehicle enters our production queue and for as long as you own your Rivian. Any questions you have, you can call, text or email your Guide. They are your direct line to all things Rivian.
Right now, our Guides are going through rigorous product and systems training, spending hours preparing and collaborating with practically every department across the company. It’s truly inspiring to see how much care and passion is going in. You will never hear ‘Let me get you to the right person’ or ‘Let me transfer you’ from our Guides. Instead, you will have ‘your person’ for whatever you need.
Guide introductions will begin in May once training is complete, starting with Launch Edition preorder holders first. Introductions will be one-to-one, so it will take time for everyone to meet their Guide. When your Guide reaches out, the final ordering process begins. From configuration questions to scheduling delivery — and all your adventures once your Rivian arrives — your Guide will be with you. If you have questions before meeting your Guide, our Customer Service Team remains here for you.
Until then, training continues. We’ll also begin sending regular updates to our preorder community on Rivian news. You can also head to our blog today for more details on our Guides and a brief message from our founder RJ.
On behalf of our entire Guide Team, and everyone at Rivian, we can’t wait to meet you.”
As you can see, what Rivian promises is to have very effective and personal communication with its customers. They will probably be able to solve issues through an app but will never have to go through endless menus only to find the FAQ sections that do not answer their specific doubts. As the TMC Forums user RobStark mentioned in his post, it seems like “ a direct response to Tesla communications issues.”
Rivian even stresses that the Guides will never transfer you to someone else that can answer your question. They are the ones who should be able to do that in the first place. If they do not know the answer, they are the ones in charge of obtaining it and giving it to customers.
With small sales volumes for expensive cars like the first Rivian units, that will probably be easy to handle. With high volume models, we wonder how the company will maintain a Rivian Guide available and how many cars they can handle. We’ll ask the company in the first opportunity we have, hopefully when we can test drive the first R1T.