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Customer Satisfaction At-A-Glance

Customer Satisfaction

Sustaining our business by earning customers for life

  • Continued implementation of tools and programs to support enterprise-wide quality focus.
  • Integrated teams with customer interaction points into one seamless Global Connected Customer Experience organization to create a 360-degree customer experience.
  • Improved standings in various third-party quality and customer satisfaction surveys and studies.
  • Complete the process of migrating all plants to the highest “Built-in-Quality” levels with the goal of shipping defect-free products.
  • Increase our Net Promoter Score among customers.
  • Ensure advances in vehicle connectivity are made while safeguarding customer privacy and maintaining cybersecurity.
  • Reinforcing the need for a more consistent customer-centric focus among stakeholders across our value chain, especially among suppliers and dealers.
  • Overcoming negative customer perceptions based on past performance and experiences.
  • Managing increased cybersecurity risks in a rapidly changing technology and regulatory environment.

Approach

It’s not surprising our stakeholders have identified customer
satisfaction as General Motors’ most material issue.

This aligns completely with our purpose to earn customers for life, and customer satisfaction ensures the long-term sustainability of our business in a highly competitive marketplace. According to Forrester’s Customer Index, companies who lead in customer experience have enjoyed a 43 percent increase in stock value during the past six years, while those who lag in customer experience have seen a 34 percent decline. When you consider a single percentage point improvement in U.S. sales retention is equivalent to selling about 25,000 vehicles, or approximately $700 million in annual revenue, the business benefits are significant.

Customer satisfaction also speaks to what we believe as a company. As a business, our objective is to provide our customers with quality and safe products and services. Today, we are more focused on this responsibility than at any other time in our history. The goal is to satisfy our customers to a level where they are not only loyal to our brands and products, but also recommend them to others.

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

Product Quality

Everything we do across the enterprise is about delivering the highest levels of product quality so that we earn customers for life.

Our brands, products and services aim at being consistent top performers in benchmark quality studies and consumer purchase references. Accordingly, we are expanding our focus on product quality by aligning the entire company with the goal of exceeding customer expectations and providing customers with the best overall experience.

This total focus on the customer defines how we develop, engineer and manufacture our vehicles to ensure top quality and durability, starting with product development. Here, we are infusing the voice of the customer into the process – largely through clear, concise and compelling data, and utilizing our internally developed GM Compass customer survey in key global markets to provide our product developers with more precise and direct customer feedback.

It’s also important to understand that quality today goes beyond reliability to encompass often intangible experiences. This is why we are taking more scientific approaches to translate customer input and feedback into technical requirements that define the overall driving experience. Consider, for example, how an engine sounds and a transmission shifts, how buttons feel when pushed or the type of sound doors make when closing. Such quality attributes often can be difficult for customers to describe and quantify. New advanced tools and approaches, such as Human Vehicle Integration, help to translate customers’ requirements into technical specifications and ultimately vehicle designs.

The implementation of the latest quality tools and programs is helping GM employees around the world to react better and faster to the needs of our customers. For example, in 2015 our Global Product Development organization completed the highest level of Design for Six Sigma training, a process that focuses on customer issues and solutions. We also are migrating all of our plants around the world to the highest “Built-in-Quality” levels with the goal of shipping defect-free products. Operational Excellence also has been implemented across the enterprise as a proven, system-wide and data-driven approach to confronting business issues and identifying lasting solutions. In 2015 more than 1,700 executives/managers attended a leadership workshop. About 680 potential Operational Excellence project leaders completed week long technical training.

The goal of these and other programs is to take action as early as possible in the vehicle development and manufacturing process to ensure excellence at product launch. This “quality across the enterprise” approach drives behaviors and actions throughout the company to result in the best brands, products and services for our customers.

In May 2015, we celebrated 500 million GM-branded vehicles built globally at five events around the world. In recognition of the important role customers have played in our 500 Million milestone, the company gave away vehicles at each event to loyal customers.

In May 2015, we celebrated 500 million GM-branded vehicles built globally at five events around the world. In recognition of the important role customers have played in our 500 Million milestone, the company gave away vehicles at each event to loyal customers.

In May 2015, we celebrated 500 million GM-branded vehicles built globally at five events around the world. In recognition of the important role customers have played in our 500 Million milestone, the company gave away vehicles at each event to loyal customers.

4G LTE keeps the whole family connected.

Customer Experience

We recognize customer satisfaction is a function of both quality products and customer interactions to create a distinctive customer experience.

This requires developing a 360-degree view of our customers so we have a system in place that enables us to recognize, understand and serve them best. In the past, this was a challenge because the many different types and phases of customer interaction within GM were not coordinated effectively or consolidated.

Today, all teams with customer interaction points – from OnStar to owner services to Customer Care and everything in between, both online and offline – form our Global Connected Customer Experience organization. These groups work as one team with a united goal of creating a seamless 360-degree customer experience, one which inspires confidence, fosters trust, provides value and exceeds customer expectations.

We measure customer satisfaction progress primarily through the Net Promoter Score, which is an important key performance indicator that gauges how likely a customer is to recommend our products. In addition to our internal metrics, we also monitor third-party measures of customer satisfaction and quality to gauge our progress. Recent highlights include:

  • In the U.S., the 2015 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study counted four Chevrolet segment award winners, more than any other brand.
  • In Argentina, GM won a 2015 AMAUTA Award for customer service from the Latin American Federation of Direct and Interactive Marketing Associations (ALMADI).
  • In Europe, the new Opel Astra K won the Golden Steering Wheel overall award in the compact car segment, and the Astra scored best across all eligible models in all award segments for workmanship. In the Computer Bild Connected Car Awards, the Astra ranked among the top three vehicles in the overall category of Connected Car of the Year. The Plus X award, the world’s largest innovation award for technology, sports and lifestyle, also awarded a number of Opel models their "high quality" award.
  • In South Korea, GM ranked first in the sales category of Korean Service Quality Index for the third consecutive year. Also in South Korea, Chevrolet ranked first – for the fourth consecutive year – among automakers in the sales satisfaction and customer service categories in a study by Consumer Insight, an auto market researcher, in recognition of its brand value emphasizing the customer.

Regardless of whether we are using an internal or external measure of success, we are gratified to see progress, but will be satisfied only when we are exceeding the expectations of each and every GM customer.

The addition of 4G LTE earned OnStar its third
“Best of What’s New” award from Popular
Science magazine.

The OnStar Command Center

Customer Privacy & Cybersecurity

Customer privacy and cybersecurity remain important issues for GM and for our stakeholders as the evolution of vehicle connectivity continues.

As with many other industries, protecting our customers’ data is vital to the development of connected experience technologies. We are mindful that there is always some level of risk associated with connectivity, but we believe those risks are outweighed by benefits such as increased safety and helping customers maintain optimal vehicle performance, as well as improved efficiency and convenience. We utilize privacy and cybersecurity by design, meaning that we seek to address these issues when developing new connectivity functions and services. GM understands that our customers’ trust is essential to our business, and we remain committed to meeting their expectations for privacy and cybersecurity.

In fact, GM has enjoyed a head start, compared with others in the industry, on addressing privacy and cybersecurity issues, thanks to nearly two decades of OnStar’s telematics services and connectivity. This experience, for example, has enabled us to leverage long-standing relationships with suppliers and network providers to address vehicle cybersecurity, as well as to implement defensive security strategies in a proactive manner.

How We Approach Privacy

GM puts the customer at the center of everything we do and is proud to be one of the first to commit to the automobile industry Consumer Privacy Protection Principles (CPPP). Though CPPP were set forth by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers in 2014, GM already had a set of similar principles in place that were self-implemented in 2009 and were based on globally recognized fair information privacy principles. In relevant part, these principles are based on:

  • Transparency – Vehicle owners are clearly informed as to GM’s policies for data collection, including data use and sharing practices.
  • Consent – GM does not disclose vehicle data or share vehicle data without a vehicle owner’s consent unless required by court order or exigent circumstances such as imminent loss of life.
  • Protection – GM vehicle owners should expect protection of their personal data and that GM will take responsible measures to meet this expectation.

How We Approach Cybersecurity

We also take a layered approach to in-vehicle cybersecurity and are designing many vehicle systems so they can be updated with enhanced security measures as potential threats evolve. These efforts are led by our product cybersecurity organization, which now has more than 70 dedicated professionals. This team consists of internal experts who work with outside specialists to actively minimize risks of unauthorized access to vehicles and customer data.

This team also leads GM’s participation in industrywide efforts to develop and implement defensive measures and strategies to reduce cybersecurity risks. Our Chief Product Cybersecurity Officer, for example, is vice chair of the recently created Automobile Information Sharing and Analysis Center (Auto ISAC), which allows automakers to share potential cybersecurity threats. Auto ISAC celebrated an achievement this year in the passing of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015, which will help prosecute and prevent cybercrimes and allow automakers to share information about potential breaches. Industry initiatives, such as Auto ISAC, and risk management systems based on the National Institute of Standards and Technology Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Security, are key to providing automotive companies with appropriate guidelines, standards and best practices, while maintaining the flexibility needed to make rapid adjustments in a fast-changing technology environment.

Solar arrays at the Davidson Automotive Group dealership

Green Dealerships

GM dealerships are the “face of GM” to customers around the world and one of the best forums for communicating the sustainability commitment of our brands.

We developed the GM Green Dealer Program (GDP) to enable eligible Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac dealerships in the U.S. to promote their environmentally sustainable business practices. The voluntary program recognizes dealers who have made strides in the areas of energy reduction, water conservation, renewable energy usage, waste elimination, recycling and community outreach – all of which help them reduce operating costs, provide employees a better work environment and differentiate their business in the local marketplace.

Dealers are proud to display this accomplishment for their employees and customers through various showroom displays.

The GDP is designed to encourage dealers to continually carry out environmentally conscious practices and help build a network among dealers of sharing best practices for sustainability and cost-saving measures. Participating dealers believe that the program encourages eco-conscious customers who are interested in fuel-efficient or electric vehicles to shop their dealership. More sustainable dealerships also help instill a greater sense of pride among employees and help strengthen the dealership’s image in the community.

In its first full year, response to the program has exceeded expectations, with dealer participation extending across all four GM brands. We count 435 dealers, representing just over 10 percent of all U.S. dealers, as active participants in the program, incorporating sustainable initiatives into their operations and continually working to certify each year as a GM Green Dealer. That level of interest reflects the strong focus of dealers, across all channels, on continued implementation of environmentally sensitive programs and the sharing of those sustainable initiatives with their peers. There are currently 35 Green Dealer certifications as of the first anniversary of the program.

“Although financial savings started our environmental upgrades, we’ve found we have like-minded people in our community who really appreciate the effort we’ve made. We’re seeing that through in our service lanes and on our sales floor. These are people who have not previously driven a Chevrolet, but who want to buy vehicles from environmentally responsible companies.”

– George Nunnelly
George Nunnelly Chevrolet
Bentonville, Arkansas

There are several programs available that support dealers in their drive toward improving their sustainable operations and reaching certification. The GM Dealer Equipment group provides dealers with an option to purchase “green tools” and drive operational efficiencies into their service operations. Dealers also are provided opportunities to engage with local schools in support of their environmental education activities by sharing lessons learned and collaborating with school green teams to collectively drive more sustainable communities. The GM Eco Green school outreach program is designed to produce a culture of support and continuous learning among GM dealers, employees and students in the communities they serve.

Although the Green Dealer Program has been launched only in the U.S. to date, a pilot program is slated for Canada. Beyond North America, GM Brazil bestows sustainability awards to recognize Chevrolet dealers and suppliers for best sustainable practices. Those practices bring economic development while preserving environmental resources and creating a means for social development.

The Next-Gen Chevy Volt:
Customer-Driven Sustainability

Chevrolet Volt owners are among some of the most satisfied in the industry, according to independent surveyors. So it only made sense for these customers to serve as our compass in the development of the next-generation Volt, one of the industry’s leading plug-in vehicles.

Though we incorporate customer feedback into the design of all GM vehicles, it is particularly important in the design of electric vehicles, which face more customer acceptance hurdles than traditional vehicles. The voice of loyal Volt owners comes through loud and clear in the new Chevrolet Volt – named the 2016 Green Car of the Year – which is sleeker, sportier, more affordable and delivers greater acceleration, range and efficiency.

Customer research influenced a number of features on the Volt, but perhaps none more important than the decision to extend the electric range of the vehicle from an EPA-estimated 38 to 53 EV miles, a nearly 40 percent increase. Total range is now more than 400 miles on a full charge and full tank of gas, and we expect owners can travel more than 1,000 miles on average between gas fill-ups with regular charging, although actual range varies with conditions.

These enhancements were partially informed by a study of more than 300 model year 2011 and 2012 Volts in service in California for more than 30 months. The study found many owners exceeded the EPA-rated label of 35 miles of EV range per full charge, with about 15 percent surpassing 40 miles of range. For the second-generation Volt we used this knowledge to produce an even better battery system that’s lighter, has fewer cells and more storage capacity.

The 2016 Volt uses an 18.4 kWh battery system featuring revised cell chemistry developed in conjunction with LG Chem. While overall system storage capacity has increased, the number of cells has decreased 33 percent from 288 to 192 cells as the result of a revised chemistry. The cells are also positioned lower in the pack for a lower center of gravity, and the overall mass of the pack is 21 pounds (9.8 kg) lighter.

Volt owners also wanted more range while getting a more powerful vehicle with more control. The two-motor drive unit delivers increased efficiency and performance along with reduced noise and vibration. The drive unit operates up to 12 percent more efficiently and weighs 100 pounds (45 kg) less than the current system. Both motors operate together in more driving scenarios, in both EV and extended-range operation. The ability to use both motors helps deliver a 19 percent improvement in electric acceleration from zero to 30 mph (2.6 seconds) and a 7 percent improvement from zero to 60 mph (8.4 seconds). GM engineers designed the Voltec electric motors to use significantly fewer rare earth materials. One motor uses no rare earth–type magnets.

Another customer request: more convenient charging and the ability to check charging status. Chevrolet improved both, based on real-world experiences of Volt owners. Now, owners can set their charging preferences exclusively for “home” charging and the vehicle will automatically adjust to that setting when it is at “home” based on GPS data.

The new Volt also makes it easier for owners to confirm that their vehicle is charging and gauge charging status. The new status system features a specially designed tone that indicates when charging has begun, with additional tones for delayed charging. The system will even indicate if the charge port door was left open after unplugging but before entering the vehicle.

Finally, customers told us they sought a sleeker, more fun, contemporary vehicle to drive. So, the new Chevrolet Volt has a sportier, muscular design. The expanded use of high-strength steel throughout the body structure helps improve strength and reduce weight, making the new Volt 200 pounds lighter. Both the internal and structural improvements serve to improve packaging to further reduce noise and vibrations.