Customer Experience Spotlight: Activating the Voice of the Customer at GE

By: Susan Ganeshan

October 10, 2014

CX Spotlight


One of the strengths of the customer experience (CX) industry is the strong sense of community shared among industry professionals. People in our industry always seem eager to share about their experiences and exchange ideas and best practices for better CX.

Last week, I enjoyed the camaraderie of the CX community during a fireside chat webinar I moderated featuring Cheryl Cargill, Customer Insights Leader at GE Power & Water, and Kim Zieroth, IT Project Leader at GE Healthcare.  It was fascinating to hear from Cheryl and Kim about the CX journey they have experienced at their respective organizations.

Here are some of the key insights from our fireside chat:

  • The value and benefits of Customer Experience Management (CEM): CEM helps GE connect the dots across the data to find trends and themes. Cheryl shared, “GE is a very data-centric company, and CX helps us see the quantification of the more people-oriented side of things.” Ultimately, GE’s CEM program came out of a practical challenge: how does a company interpret hundreds of thousands of pieces of feedback? The only productive way is with a CEM program.
  • CX goals and measurement: Cheryl said, “My goal is to better understand our customers and what they’re facing on a day-to-day basis. At the end of the day, I’m asking: ‘how happy are they with GE?’” To that end, they both advised us not worry too much about your actual Net Promoter Score (NPS). Rather, start with a baseline and try to improve. When building a CX program, be very clear about how you’re going to measure success. Use customer-backed metrics to make sure you’re analyzing what customers really care about, and be diligent in tracking results.
  • Advice for sharing feedback across an organization: As a leader of your CX program, be there to answer the business need. Once your CX program starts to pick up, engineering, product management and other departments will start asking for numbers to support their ideas & recommendations. Make sure you have fast access to the answers by using the right technology; one that allows you to slice and dice the data in many different ways to find answers to all your questions.
  • Leading organizational change: Don’t be afraid to make recommendations to business owners. In fact, when it comes to customer feedback, other departments will find it most helpful when you use the analysis to make specific recommendations that can be presented to leadership. Kim shared, “For us, the most effective cultural change we’ve experienced has been an increased use of VOC data for evidence-based change.”
  • Additional best practices: Be careful how you word your customer surveys.  Customer surveys should include open-ended questions. That way, your feedback will tell you what customers actually think, instead of what you thought to ask.

To hear more of what Kim and Cheryl had to share, watch the full stream of our webinar.