GM Using Social Media to Track Car Defects

ATC1Do you remember a time when having car troubles meant contacting the closest auto garage via telephone (possibly waiting on hold) and scheduling a maintenance appointment with an automotive service technician?

Can you imagine if your automotive retailer contacted you the next time your car was on the fritz—or before you even knew there was a problem with it in the first place? Well, prepare to be wowed as major auto retailers like GM and Hyundai begin leveraging social media platforms to identify flaws and defects in their vehicles, before car owners even notice an issue. Continue reading to find out exactly how they’re doing it…

A Little Bird Told Me You Have Car Trouble

Twitter has been around for a little less than a decade now, and in that time you’ve no doubt noticed your friends using the app to live-tweet their thoughts, feelings or random bits of inconsequential information—and you’re probably guilty of tweeting the same yourself. However, if you’re pursuing an auto career you might be particularly interested to hear about how automakers are tapping into all that social media chatter to follow stories about car trouble.

Auto retailers like GM and Hyundai have teams of staff (social-media managers, customer service representatives, high-level execs etc.) dedicated to the task of sifting through social media platforms – like Twitter – to look for any signs of safety issues in their vehicles. These days, when someone has an issue with a product or service, the general reaction is to take to [insert social media platform here] to complain about that issue. And recently, professionals in automotive careers have been scouring the internet for user complaints, and providing consumers with the information they’ll need to fix their car problems. “The function is the same: People have problems, and we take care of the problems,” said Hyundai’s executive VP with regards to using Twitter for car maintenance.

GM’s Response to its Recent Recall Campaign

General Motors has been in hot water during the past year or so due to a faulty ignition switch in some of its vehicle models, which is said to be responsible for approximately 35 deaths and 39 injuries. However, the company has stated that it has no conclusive evidence that the defect is the cause of the crashes. In the past year, GM has recalled over 28 million cars and has also adopted a compensation program in Canada for consumers affected by an ignition switch failure.

GM’s recent interest in social media platforms is likely a response to its ignition switch crisis, as the company seems to be using every resource available to locate any other potential vehicle problems. Twitter and automotive chat rooms are only two of the many online platforms that GM is looking into for early signs of safety issues in its cars—the company has even began calling its clients for feedback on their vehicles.

“We have to identify issues before they become a problem,” said Dan Ammann, President of GM, in a recent interview. “We will get past this, but we can’t forget the most important thing we’ve learned.”

Do you turn to Twitter (or any other social media platform) when you’re having car troubles?

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