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Special Project

Special Project
From the 11th Annual Shorty Awards

General Motors Social Customer Care

Winner in Customer Service


General Motors is home to many brands including Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, GMC, and OnStar with millions of customers, nearly 180,000 employees, serving five continents across 23 time zones and speaking 70 languages. While we're a large company, our vision is to work as one team, putting customers' best interests at the heart of every decision.

In 2018, our social customer care team emerged as a critical component in delivering on this vision. Analyzing over 17 million social brand mentions and engaging in over 400,000 customer care conversations provides a unique opportunity to make an impact on a micro individual-customer basis and a macro company-wide basis. To ensure our impact was positive we set two clear, aggressive goals:

Goal 1: Deliver on Today's Customer Expectations: They're increasingly turning to social for customer care. Their inquiries vary widely, but their expectations are consistent; fast, convenient, seamless service.

  1. Key Performance Indicator: Decrease Customer Response Time by 99% achieving a CRT below three hours.

Goal 2: Push The Boundaries of Social Care: Connect the people using GM products with the people making them to uncover actionable insights and improve our customers' experiences.

  1. Key Performance Indicator: Early detection of product issues.
Spoiler alert, we accomplished both goals and we'll tell you how!

Strategy and Execution

A single insight was critical in achieving both goals. Our human resources, tools and technology resources must work together to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts.

Goal 1:

Responding to customer care issues promptly requires serious behind the scenes legwork when your brand is mentioned over 17 million times each year. That's why we leveraged the power of A.I. to systematically identify, categorize and prioritize customer care issues without human intervention. From there, highly-trained human moderators assign the posts to the advisor best suited to deliver an accurate, fast, customized response.

For example:

To further drive efficiency and reach our CRT goal we honed in on the fact that our customers were increasingly turning to Facebook Messenger for support. In fact, one of our brands saw a 17x increase in messenger inquiries from December '17 to January '18.

Upon studying the Facebook Messenger inquiries, a couple things were clear:

With those two truths in mind, we developed a chatbot designed to work in tandem with our advisors and tool stack:

As a result, we addressed more volume, provided instant assistance via the Chatbot and maintained a "human-touch" when necessary.

Goal 2:

A byproduct of our social customer care approach is the ability to connect the people using our products with the people who are making them. Thus, we can systematically mine social and digital conversations for product issues, engage the appropriate internal team to fix the problem, and interact with customers who voiced concern to resolve their issue. For example:

We discovered several Acadia owners experiencing a "Shift to Park" message appearing when they had already shifted to park. Based on their social conversations, we noticed they'd already been to a dealership, but dealerships were unable to provide a resolution. So we gathered the relevant information and instigated a collaborative, internal effort to identify the cause, and deliver the proper repair strategy to dealers. With the solution in-place, we reached out to each affected customer, 13 in all, and scheduled their repair. We then proactively identified existing cases from other business units with matching symptoms, and armed each case owner with the steps to resolution.

By leveraging social tools, expert social advisors, and company-wide collaboration, efforts like these help turn frustrated customers into customers for life while helping to catch/fix issues early, avoiding recalls.


Goal 1: Decrease Customer Response Time by 99% achieving a CRT below three hours.

We achieved this goal while maintaining CSAT. A pretty impressive feat considering GM brands are mentioned over 17 million time across digital and social.

Only 27% of those sessions have required further assistance by a care advisor, thus drastically lowering the inbound volume and customer response time for advisors. This allows advisors to devote more time to customers with complex issues that require deeper research and coordination.

Goal 2: Early detection of product issues.

Through our customer care efforts, we've identified product issues significantly faster than before, allowing problems to be addressed quickly while avoiding potential recalls and nipping criticism in the bud. Several issues, like the Acadia example above, were identified and fixed early.


Video for General Motors Social Customer Care

Entrant Company / Organization Name

General Motors & FleishmanHillard


Entry Credits