In-car entertainment and navigation systems bamboozle customers and ruin the out-of-the-box experience.”You see a lot of people get into the vehicle, and they can’t figure out the damned system,” Mark Harland, manager of GM’s connected customer team, told Reuters. “They get frustrated, and they get online and bash it, and that ends up on J.D. Power and Associates.” GM decided to do something about it. Will it make the damned systems more intuitive? No, it throws 25 people into the fight against technological ignorance. It has been tried before …
GM thinks the problem is not the system, it’s the damned dealer that won’t explain the damned system. GM sends 25 tech-savvy specialists to its 4,400 U.S. dealerships to show how to teach customers about technology. GM’s geek squad is backed-up by a dedicated team at GM’s call center. According to the report, “GM is also requiring that its dealers have at least one staff member trained in all of GM’s in-car systems – MyLink, CUE and IntelliLink – by the end of this year.”
Years ago, when I advised a very large European carmaker in these and other matters, the company had similarly huge problems with then much simpler technology.
For instance, car radios were swapped several times under warranty because the volume was changing without anyone touching the dial. The swaps did not fix the problem. Customers became upset and satisfaction scores plummeted. After months of drama, it emerged that it wasn’t a bug, it was a feature: The volume adapted to in-car noise, actually, the volume rose and dropped with the speed of the car, but nobody had told the customer. Or the service writer.
Like GM now, the large European OEM that starts with “V” and ends in “olkswagen” sicced trainers at dealers and required them to explain the verdammte System to the verdammte Kunde. The dealers said this would take at least an hour each, they would rather use the time to sell cars, and if the car company really wants them to teach tech to the uninitiated, then only in exchange for a horrendous hourly fee. Thus ended the project.