Buy Dell shares.


You can’t keep a good man down for very long. First SONY and now DELL is on a comeback trail. I can feel it and see it. The focus on basics – good product design, excellent customer service and relevant innovation – is showing. Read here about how they are listening to the consumer, turning complaints/problems into a positive opportunity for the brand and harnessing the “wisdom of the crowds” to develop new products or improve existing ones. 

Conversing with your consumers may be just lip service for some companies, but for Dell it is central to a rejuvenated reputation, writes Jeff Jarvis in BusinesWeek (10/29/07). Just a year ago, Dell’s internal tracking reported customer satisfaction among core users at just 58 percent. Satisfaction among high-end customers was even worse. Michael Dell went “ballistic,” says Dick Hunter, who heads Dell’s customer service. Today, Dell’s core-customer satisfaction is up to 74 percent and the high-end has jumped to 80 percent. That’s still not good enough, but those numbers apparently would not be as high if not for its blog, “I think what the web has brought is the voice of that 25 percent,” says Dick.

Dell launched last July, “where chief blogger Lionel Menchaca gave the company a frank and credible human voice.” That happened only after the company had been thoroughly flamed by unhappy customers online. At that point, Michael Dell was encouraged by Jeff Jarvis to “join the conversation your customers are having without you.” Dell started by dispatching “technicians to reach out to complaining bloggers and solve their problems, earning pleasantly surprised buzz in return.” Direct2Dell was launched amid “a burning battery issue,” and shortly after Michael Dell himself started, a blog asking “customers to tell the company what to do.”

In response to their advice, Dell is now “selling Linux computers and reducing the promotional ‘bloatware’ that clogs machines. Today, Dell even enables customers to rate its products on its site.” It has also streamlined its call-center support. Mark Jarvis, Dell’s new cmo, actually regards its customer conversations as its strategy: “By listening to our customers, that is actually the most perfect form of marketing you could have.” His boss regards it as an engine of innovation: “I’m sure there’s a lot of things that I can’t even imagine, but our customers can imagine,” says Michael Dell, adding, “A company this size is not going to be about a couple of people coming up with ideas. It’s going to be about millions of people and harnessing the power of those ideas.”

5 responses to “Buy Dell shares.

  1. Brilliant. Smth to think abt for many multinationals in order to win their niche back. Smart and cheap. No useless TV-ad’s brainwashing.

  2. Glad to see Dell getting their groove back. It was about time Michael Dell stepped in. The company was tanking, shares dropping. It basically lost focused on what made it great in the first place…. giving what the customer wants. And what the customers wanted was stylish machines with good performance at an affordable price. I am a long time Dell user, and has been one of it’s biggest fans. But until the XPS M1330 came out, could you remember a Dell laptop that you wouldn’t be embarrassed to be seen in public with? Cheap tacky plastics, iffy build quality and a design drawn in a kitchen. Swore I would never use Dell again. But then last month I just bought myself the new M1330. And you know what? It’s brilliant. The battlefield is turning into a laptop market with less and less PCs being sold. Let’s hope Dell keeps up the pace with this new series of laptops. It’s a step in the right direction. In my humble opinion, Dell needs a “killer rig” to get a big turnaround success like what the original V3 Razr did for Motorola.

  3. Hmm…I am one of quite a few very irritated Dell customers. When I sent them a complaint on the messed up delivery service – nobody went back to me. I sent it three times to different addresses – and nothing. Worse than BA. Hope they are getting better now.

  4. What a good execise of two-way communication between manufactory with consumers through Web 2.0
    And also not only communication, the most important is pay attention to the feedback from consumer and realize it on the new product
    Web 2.0 takes a revolution to our life, Youtube\Myspace\Facebook, we can express everything we want through internet, and also it will be seen by others. Which also shows the change of consumers, ppl wanna to show off, wanna to be pay attention to, wanna to get feedback from others….
    It is a opportunity also chanllenge to brand guys.
    Consumers are used to one-way communication, they like the brand which can solve their problem, and they wanna their advise / desire can be fullfilled by the brand they like
    Dell really make a right desicion!

  5. Interesting read. One of the main factors that ties me to a brand is the level of customer service I receive. Not only when I am in the purchasing stage, but also the follow up service offered. Any company can sell a product, and with so many brands today offering basically the same products it’s often difficult to figure out what it is about a certain brand that makes you keep going back for more. With Dell (and unlike so many other electronics companies I have made purchases from…) the level of customer service I received was second to none. The fact when I called them they used my first name and actually spoke to me like a human being made such a huge difference whereas with many other companies you are given a customer complaint number and that’s your label thenafter. Dell even followed up one week later with a call to make sure everything was working OK with the laptop and was there anything else they could do to help! However, it has to be consistent. One happy customer versus 10 unhappy customers won’t do anything to help their brand. With blog sites and customer review postings becoming ever popular, companies need to ensure that customer service is up there at the top of their priority list and realise that as consumers become more and more spoiled and expectations rise, selling a good product isn’t enough. It’s about making the consumer want to buy from you because they know that no matter what they buy they will be looked after.

    Now, let me go check out how that share price is performing…

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