by Alan Joch
Executives from large organizations, GM included, acknowledge that calculating the financial ROI of social business initiatives isn’t easy. With the help of Oracle Social Relationship Management Cloud Service, however, GM analyzed social’s role in generating sales leads and found direct links between social customer experience (CX) and financial returns.
Headquarters: Detroit, Michigan
Revenue: US$155.9 billion in 2014
Oracle products: Oracle Social Relationship Management Cloud Service, Siebel Customer Relationship Management
Global Head of the Social Center of Expertise
Length of tenure: 25 years
Education: BA, Saginaw Valley State University; MS in administration, Central Michigan University; PhD in organization communications, Wayne State University
Personal mantra: “It is important to stay curious and calm so you can hit the curveball when it is served up. If you continue to ask questions, listen, and be aware of what’s going on around you, your team can build an integrated foundation that gives them the opportunity to be creative and innovative to serve customers faster and more effectively. To do all this, you need the right team. You have to hire the right people, people who are willing to think differently, who can react to the curveball calmly, and who have can-do work ethics.”
David Mingle (left), Executive Director of GM’s Global Connected Customer Experience Program, with Rebecca Harris, Global Head of the Social Center of Expertise
Rebecca Harris, global head of the Social Center of Expertise at GM, says GM’s social strategy is now “much more a part of the fabric of what we do every day.”
“Social is an area that encourages two-way conversations,” says Jamie Barbour, manager of Chevrolet’s digital and social advertising.
For example, when someone tweets an interest in buying a new vehicle or mentions that he or she has a lease coming to an end, GM’s social staff responds. So far in 2015, GM has responded to more than 15,000 such tweets, all of which the sales staff determined were viable leads via Twitter. The team followed up with offers to provide additional information. Five thousand people took GM up on the offers, which opened up direct conversations between the company and consumers.
From these engagements, about 35 percent of the potential customers considered GM’s invitation to test drive a vehicle at a local dealership. About 65 of those people actually got behind the wheel.
The bottom line: GM sold at least 22 vehicles to consumers who took one of those test drives.
“If we weren’t listening to customers, these sales may never have happened,” says Rebecca Harris, global head of the Social Center of Expertise at GM.
Photography by Shutterstock