GM Rolls Out New Customer Survey: Why Now?

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In what is being characterized as a move to make it easier to get customer feedback and get it posted online more quickly, General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) out later this month will send a new, shorter questionnaire to sales and service customers. The new survey is said to have fewer than 10 questions, compared with about 22 on the longer form that GM has used for decades.

According to Automotive News, its sources say the rollout of the survey is a test and that if it is successful GM will junk the old, longer form. The redesigned survey is supposed to make it easier for GM to gather and disseminate information about products and service at the company’s 4,200 dealerships.

Nearly 20 years after the World Wide Web gave companies a way to gain nearly instant feedback on products and services, GM has decided that now is the time to scrap a survey that it has used for decades and go to something simpler. That almost defies imagination.

While the company is engulfed in an investigation into its decade-long delay in fixing a defective ignition switch surely is an odd time to launch a new user-friendly customer satisfaction survey. Or, perhaps if one is a GM executive, it seems like the perfect time.

The new survey may deflect some attention from the investigation, but not much, and it certainly will reduce the impact of any GM statement about wanting to know what customers think. Some customers tried for years to get the company to acknowledge that it had a faulty ignition switch and GM really listened to them.

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