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GM scouring Twitter, Facebook to reach unhappy customers

March 27, 2010|By Tim Higgins

Saginaw, Mich. — Those comments you posted on Twitter, venting about General Motors products, aren't going unnoticed.

GM has a new team of customer-service agents scouring social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook, looking to reach out to people who've complained about problems with their GM vehicles and offering to help them.

"You're kind of like a detective having to go through and see what's going on," said Sheri Haefele, one of GM's social media agents.

It's all part of GM's post-bankruptcy efforts to be more proactive in dealing with customers. The Detroit automaker expects to double its social media efforts in April, adding new agents and more computing power.

Fed up with her 2001 Cadillac DeVille's mechanical problems, Melissa Walker turned to her usual spot to vent about her experience: Twitter.

The Jacksonville, N.C., real estate agent wrote this month that her Cadillac was acting up and that she hated her car. A GM customer-service agent followed up on Walker's complaint.

"I was very surprised," Walker said. "I hadn't actually addressed GM. . . . It is an older car."

In the end, the problems weren't covered by any recalls and a solution couldn't be found for the 100,000-plus-mile car, Walker, 32, said. "I really didn't expect much, but the fact that I even got the call was pretty impressive."

Higgins writes for the Detroit Free Press/ McClatchy.

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