In November 2012, General Motors announced plans to dispatch Connected Customer Specialists to its dealerships. The tech-savvy individuals would help both customers and dealers with the new infotainment systems (MyLink, IntelliLink, and CUE) in GM’s vehicles, just as infotainment becomes the next battleground for automakers. Recently, the man in charge of the Connected Customer Team, Mark Harland, explained more about the new and unique group.
For starters, GM’s Customer Experience Group encompasses the Connected Customer Team, whose goal is to train dealers on the best ways to help customers bring their connected lives into their vehicles. In effect, the objective is to either change or improve the customer experience as it relates to infotainment systems via the dealership, since the “geeks” (as GM calls them) will train Certified Technology Experts at the store level, while serving as the dealer’s primary point of contact for anything infotainment-related. Notably, the move was an industry-first for The General. In addition, the presence of the “geeks” also helps relay suggestions about ways to improve the infotainment systems (in current and future vehicles) up the ladder to the GM Quality and Engineering teams.
One interesting part about GM’s infotainment team is that they’re bringing a set of skills to the dealership that hasn’t traditionally been there: the dealer has (and has had) car (sales) people… now, they will have some technology people, as well. The specialists can teach dealership employees about the technology, and can also help with customer interaction.
And while new, high-tech infotainment systems might seem like something entirely new to the dealership world, Mr. Harland points out that the core principles of the automotive retail environment haven’t changed much: the dealers are still selling a car, servicing it, and doing their best to keep customers happy. But today, technology offers a unique opportunity to really engage customers, an opportunity that didn’t apply in a traditional dealership setting in the past.
The 50 Connected Customer Specialists will cover GM’s top 50 markets in the United States, and will be in dealerships to educate, train, and improve upon IntelliLink, MyLink, and CUE.
Now, meet one of GM’s 50 Connected Customer Specialists: