Hmmm...in my last post i should have debated what would I do as Dell in the case of Jeff Jarvis, but actually i did it the other way round, putting myself in the shoes of Jeff, now I am DELL and this is what i would do:
(If you dear readers haven't got a clue about what i am talking about, read my last post or just the following lines where i explain the case of Jeff Jarvis and his war against Dell)
In 2005, a blogger called Jeff Jarvis posted in his blog Buzzmachine the purchase of a Dell laptop along with the most complete guarantee available for the item purchased. Right after receiving his laptop, it turned out to be a lemon: it didn't work, so he called to get the assistance he paid for, but they were unable to fix the problem at home and they had to take the laptop with them...this was just the beginning of the story: Dell service resulted to be completely incompetent to fix the problem, which was extended for months...and Jeff Jarvis started blogging about that: dozens, and then hundreds of comments in his blog transcended the blog sphere, and magazines like the Business Week started highlighting the case, the issue became so popular and powerful to the point that the stock price of Dell went significantly down when the news were spread in the magazines...
But, let's suppose for a second that I am a decision maker in Dell and i have to decide how to go about this guy that all of a sudden has mobilized the whole media against my company: what to do?
First of all, it is interesting to know what is actually Dell doing right now: did they learn from the experience? It seems they did: In a presentation by Lionel Menchaca, Chief Blogger at Dell in 2007, 2 years after the Dell Hell Case, the sensitivity towards the customers was definitely a core issue, as per the following conclusions (Taken from Customer Think and its blogger Mei Lin Fung) i have selected the most relevant for the case:
- Customers are in control. Work with them and learn from them.
- Address any form of dissatisfaction head on.
- Be aware that any conversation can become global at any time.
- Size doesn't matter—relevance does. Just as one journalist can trigger a newscycle, one blogger can do the same.
- Don't be afraid to apologize.
- Develop direct links to customer community (IdeaStorm for Dell), listen for how we can improve.
- One customer is part of many communities.
- Teamwork, transparency and frequent consistent communication are key in this new world.
- No shortcuts are possible. Implementing business change requires much effort across departments.
- Which leads to the new impetus at Dell to ... Engage our people to make it work
- Tools are important but people drive processes.
- Feedback digital media tools for email and chat, inside and outside of Dell, are becoming as vital as call data and traditional online support.
- Working globally means anticipating difficulties and always requires coordination with regional team members to adapt central core solutions to the local situation.
But what is not written above is the nature of these good intentions in what regards to Dell's customers: is Dell just reacting to save face or there is a true intention to offer a good customer service and avoid problems like that?
As I am the decision maker in Dell (CEO for a day...!) I would try to implement the above with a "customer service within a customer service". Means that a regular survey should be followed to include comments, failures, suggestions, improvings...proposed by Dell Customer Service's staff. What do I get with this? A service that takes himself seriously and believes in their nature: provide solutions for customers who believed in Dell as the right choice for their needs.
To conclude for the case of Jeff Jarvis, the actions to be taken would have been the following:
1) Detection of the unsatisfactory outcome of JJ's laptop by a survey team who is constantly tracking the web.
2) Analysis of the reports sent about the state of JJ laptop's fixing.
3) Once concluded the iterative failure of the laptop, immediate substitution or reimbursement to JJ.
4) Letter to apologize for the inconveniences.
5) Extended and free-of-charge guarantee for the new product in case JJ decides to accept the new Dell laptop.
6) Wrap up the story for further study in training new employees of the Customer service.
A few sentences that I have found that make so much sense to end the post:
In business you get what you want by giving other people what they want.
Customers don’t expect you to be perfect.
They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong.
Customer service is not a department, it's an attitude!
22 years before this mess, REM appeared for the first time on TV presenting "murmur", its first album. There was a time where Michael Stipes wasn't bold / shaved...