Commentary offered by Alicia Boler-Davis following this year’s CAR seminar
In my new assignment as vice president of Global Quality and U.S. Customer Experience at General Motors, I recently had the privilege of representing GM at the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) Management Briefing Seminar, an annual gathering of more than 900 auto industry, academic, and government leaders addressing critical issues and emerging trends. It was an important moment for me because I was able to discuss how the people of GM are becoming ever more focused on product quality and customer experience. This is one of the reasons I believe this company has a bright future and I’d like to share some of these same thoughts with you.
Overall, GM is striving to move from good to great as a company. Achieving that goal depends largely on the way we interact with our customers and the strength and quality of our products. And we are currently in the early days of one of the biggest global product offensives in GM history. However, great products alone are not enough to take us where we ultimately want to be. We are taking an industry- unique approach by linking product quality with customer experience in order to transform GM into a customer-centric organization, providing exceptional and memorable ownership experiences.
For example, we have hired infotainment specialists to support dealers and customers with advanced new in-vehicle technology – an industry first. Every touch point with our valued customers is an opportunity to build strong relationships and an opportunity to exceed their expectations. We understand once again that GM exists for the customer and without the customer, we don’t exist at all.
Product quality plays a major role in all of this and we view it as the foundation for the overall customer experience. GM made a lot of progress in recent years improving product quality and is now considered to be among the best in the industry. But there is more to be done. It’s not just about getting our vehicles built right; it’s about getting everything right. From the way we design our vehicles so that they perform as you expect, to the way we engineer and manufacture them so that they are reliable and last a long time, to caring for our customers before, during and after the sale. It is an enterprise-wide approach.
So as GM moves into the future, be assured we are listening to you to continue to improve in our efforts to provide the best overall experience in the automotive industry.