Dell has been investing in new web techniques. In an  interesting article on Dell’s Social Engagement Journey, some of the discussion relates to  Dell’s progress  on customer satisfaction, from ‘Dell Hell’  in 2005 to today where it is far more customer centric. This process might be of interest to firms that have not yet  not embraced social media for customer satisfaction feedback and customer engagement.

1. 2005: Dell Hell

  • Jeff Jarvis, author of the book ‘What Would Google Do’ went on line to complain about Dell poor service on his laptop and spawned a ‘movement’ called Dell Hell.
  • Dell had problems with quality and poor customer support and other frustrated users joined in to the on line conversation.
  • According to the article ‘Dell was largely unaware and unresponsive to the online complaints.There was no monitoring of online conversations and no team in place to handle them.’

2. 2006: Dell starts listening

  • According to the article, the press picks up the stories of customer woes and Dell becomes aware of the publicity. Michael Dell, CEO organizes a small team to help bloggers with their issues.
  • Customer support starts listening and monitoring what is being written on the web.
  • An outside agency is engaged to monitor the conversations on the web and find what customers are complaining about.
  • The Agency provides reports but company employees respond to customers needing assistance directly.

3. 2007:  Gather product requirements. improves monitoring and engagement.

  • Dell further develops its customer satisfaction strategy by listening to customer ‘requirements’, another key source of customer satisfaction. Ideastorm, a web site to gather requirements is initiated. It has an interesting title: “Where Your Ideas Rein”.
  • Visible technologies is the tool used to monitor conversations on the web.
  • Dell starts engaging with Blogs, Forums and Twitter.

4. 2008: Add Customer Support via Twitter  and advanced Social Media Monitoring

  • Dell proactively reaches out to customers who are complaining on Twitter.
  • Radian6 is brought in as an industrial strength tool

5. 2009: Consolidation

  • Great start up but too many web properties leads to consolidation of blogs.
  • Management changes

6. 2010: Leadership and Innovation

  • New role: Chief Listening Officer is created.
  • A Listening Command Center is initiated (See an earlier blog post on this)
  • A Customer Advisory Panel (CAP) is set up. 30 customers advise Dell on their perspectives on the brand and particularly related to support. The Power of Listening website documents what Dell learned from the Customer Advisory Panel and what related to support need to be fixed.

Organizations that do not currently monitor social media may want to review how Dell got started and their progression in order to plan their own customer satisfaction strategies that includes this important source of customer feedback.

Leave your comments below or tell us about your organization’s progress to listening to customers on the web.

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Adele Berenstein

Adele Berenstein is an Experienced Customer Satisfaction Executive, recently retired from a Large Global IT Organization after a long productive management career including Sales, Marketing, Services, teaching and education center management and most recently, 19 years in customer satisfaction management. She turned around divisions with customer satisfaction problems, implemented measurable improvements and management systems, and implemented programs to prevent problems from ever affecting customers.

One Response to “Customer Satisfaction Chronology at Dell using Social Media”

  1. Nick Stamoulis Says:

    Social media is a great way to engage with your audience and get their feedback. Companies that haven’t taken advantage are missing out. Thanks for sharing this Dell case study.

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