How GE Turns Customer Insight into Action

August 22, 2013

Roberta O’Keith serves as customer insights leader for the air filtration division of GE Power & Water. Her research helps the company shape its customer-facing programs, building satisfaction and loyalty while also driving revenue. O’Keith will speak about how GE turns customer insights into marketing action at a BMA-Kansas City lunch on Wednesday, August 28.

BMA Buzz: How has research helped you evolve your marketing programs at GE? 

Roberta O’Keith: We have used segmentation research to help identify our customers’ main purchase drivers. We use that information to segment our customer base and also to develop personas. 

We also have [used] a business survey that validated purchase behaviors and asked what expectations customers and potentials had in a supplier.  The answers helped us establish benchmarks within our business. For example, if our convenience buyers expected delivery of our products within seven business days, we established seven days as a benchmark.

BMA Buzz: What have been the most effective tools for researching your market?

O’Keith: Outside surveys have been the best for reaching B2B customers and gaining knowledge of their needs. 

BMA Buzz: How have you processed the data to generate insights?

O’Keith: We use Net Promoter Score as a key metric to measure customer satisfaction.  We use an internal workflow system to manage the execution and analysis of the data that comes back.  We are currently implementing a text analytics tool that will help us sift through all the verbatim information that comes to us as well.

BMA Buzz: How have you used those insights to shape your marketing programs? 

O’Keith: The market research we did, via segmentation and expectations surveys, has helped drive how we reach and talk to our customers.  For example, if having a strong technical support team is one of our key purchase drivers, we have developed campaign messaging that targets those types of customers.

NPS data is used to help define areas of improvement within our functions.  We include five questions in our NPS survey that dig into the quality of our delivery, quote turnaround, communication and responsiveness, product and support documents.  By asking how satisfied respondents are with us in those areas, we can see trends. We take that data to the functions for root-cause analysis and business-process improvement.


"How GE Turns Customer Insight into Action." BMA Buzz. 8/22/13.