There was a story in the LA Times last Saturday about how GM is scouring social sites to reach their unhappy customers. Wow, really? I guess this is the new GM….which is sort of looking like the old GM. Guys, it’s nice that you’ve found social media but you’ve had ample time and avenues to communicate with your best liaison to those unhappy customers: GM Dealers. Yes, some of them are angry and bitter about your actions but I think you’re still talking, right? Here’s 5 things GM could do to tap their embedded network to address unhappy customers:
1. DSI: ‘Dealer Satisfaction Index’ could give you some fast insight into what’s happening at the retail level right now. Nothing fancy, just a few well-positioned survey questions could do the trick.
2. Act on the DSI responses. Action equates to credibility. Your dealers have a direct line to the customer. Knowing you’re concerned and taking action on their behalf shows a proactive response and helps limit future complaints.
3. Support your relationship with your partners. What would it look like to have a genuine collaborative partnership going on with your dealers? No one sees, hears, feels and knows more about the current temperature of the customer than people on the front lines. Your answers are in the Showroom and on the Service Drive.
4. Create an easy and enjoyable way to have regular conversations with your customers through your dealer network. Utilize social media to create a community where all positive aspects of the GM experience are being shared regularly.
5. Follow through on what you promise both to dealers and to customers. Nothing is more “happiness killing” than a corporate behemoth that is slow to respond and fails to act. People want something different and it’s time for a change.
The Times article spotlighted a frustrated customer who was having trouble with her 100K plus-mile Cadillac and said that “the problems weren’t covered by any recalls and a solution couldn’t be found.” Yep, same old GM.