In the age of instant gratification, General Motors’ dealer-centric business is out of step in certain respects. Rather than providing the sort of on-demand information and clarity that modern customers expect, the current GM vehicle tracking system is cumbersome and vague, failing to connect customers with the info they want time and again.
Let’s set up a hypothetical. Let’s say a GM customer decides to order a vehicle, rather than pick one up off the lot. Maybe they want a specific option or configuration not in the dealer’s inventory. It could be something as simple as a paint color. Either way, the dealer doesn’t have it and can’t find it from another dealer to trade, so an order is placed. We estimate that at least 10 percent of new vehicle purchases are through orders like this.
After placing the order, the customer makes a down payment, then receives an order number. It’s at that point that the customer is basically thrown into a murky abyss with regard to the status of their order, and the current system of GM vehicle tracking simply isn’t up to task.
Unsure where to turn for more info on their order, perhaps the customer turns to the various GM brand websites, starting a chat with some faceless rep at the other end of the wire. However, no new info can be gleaned, so instead the customer goes back to the dealer.
Unfortunately, the dealer is more or less in the dark as well. The current GM vehicle tracking system is set up around a long list of event codes, most of which are ambiguous and less than helpful. To make matters worse, the dealer is more focused on selling cars than it is tracking orders, so even getting that less-than-helpful info in-hand can be an exercise in futility as the customer tries to get a hold of someone to actually help them.
The lack of tangible, helpful information in GM vehicle tracking is particularly troublesome in an era where you can literally track a package via GPS as it approaches your house. This isn’t lost on GM’s competitors – BMW, for example, has a system where customers can not only view their vehicle order build date, but can watch a live online video stream of their vehicle being built at the factory.
The cumbersome GM vehicle tracking system becomes even more problematic when dealing with incentives, which are based on when the customer takes delivery of the vehicle. For example, if a customer buys a Cadillac CT6 in February to take advantage of some new incentive, they can coordinate with the dealer to have it register as “delivered” that month, then sign all the paperwork and start payments. However, if the vehicle is delayed for quality control, it might not show up for a month and a half. That is very frustrating for a customer paying money for a vehicle they don’t even have
The problem is that the current GM vehicle tracking system is geared towards getting the vehicle to the dealer, where the customer can then take delivery. As such, transparency for the customer is more or less nonexistent.
There have been some efforts to rectify situation. GMAuthority, for example, once offered GM vehicle tracking services for free to our community, but eventually, the lack of data made it impossible.
GM certainly has the capability to make a digital system that works for the customer. Cadillac Live, for example, will provide an interactive tour of a given model for interested buyers – just set up a time, and sit back as a product specialist answers question in real time while live streaming video of the latest vehicles.
So why not something like that for GM vehicle tracking after the purchase is made?
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