Dell had a very rude awakening when the “Dell Hell” Blog that was heard around the world. One customer, Jeff Jarvis wrote in his Buzzmachine blog about what his experience was as a customer.
June 21, 2005 The Buzz Machine – Jeff Jarvis
“I just got a new Dell laptop and paid a fortune for the four-year, in-home service. The machine is a lemon and the service is a lie.
I’m having all kinds of trouble with the hardware: overheats, network doesn’t work, maxes out on CPU usage. It’s a lemon. “
Jeff Jarvis’ blog was picked up by mainstream media: NY Times, Business week in 2 days – to their horror, when Dell investigated, they found that 50% of blogs on Dell were negative at this time.
Yet in spite of this, in the most part, customers are incredibly patient with a business.
They will try their best to adapt to working with a business, especially one that they have been in a relationship with for a few years.
I had a personal checking account with a national bank…. ok, it was Wells Fargo – but it was several CEO’s ago…
And I wanted to expand my business with the bank, I wanted to set up a business checking account.
When I walked into the local branch, I was told, make an appointment.
I made the appointment. And brought back the documents etc they told me they needed.
At the appointed time, not only was there no one to talk with me, but they treated me so rudely that I have never done business with them again and have told this story to hundreds of people. At every step of the way, each person was “doing their job”.
I’m sure that Wells Fargo at that same time was doing an outreach program to encourage businesses to set up checking accounts with them. Yet I was a decades long customer who was unable to do so. Talk about being out of tune: Branch staff and marketing and sales were in different silos with one repulsing the very customers the other was reaching out to.
So how does a business orchestrate the customer experience across silos? You need to see things from the point of view of the customer.
But, mapping the series of customer interactions from the customer point of view is only one piece of the puzzle.
This is like writing out the musical score for the instruments of an orchestra.
Each person responsible for specific interactions: face to face, web, phone, retail environment has their own “process” to follow.
But is this enough? No, because the customer experiences the teamwork or lack of teamwork that results from these defined processes.
A human interaction is complex, you cannot anticipate all the possible contexts within which it occurs. The employee might be in a bad mood, the customer might have a strong sense of urgency, the company policies might not have anticipated a certain type of service requirement.
We need to have ways to find out what is the effect for the customer – what does the customer actually experience.
Going back to the orchestra metaphor: someone must be listening to the entire orchestra, the tempo, the sense of each player listening to the others around them and adjusting to create an overall effect.
Who is listening to what the customer hears when we design Customer Experience?
Who is playing the role of the conductor in your Customer Experience Management Initiative?
Can you afford to ignore these questions? If Dell’s experience is anything to go by, the answer is No. They did not and they are emerging from Dell Hell, but there is still a ways to go….
April 3, 2007 The Buzz Machine – Jeff Jarvis
“what fascinates me so much about Dell is that it can rise from worst to first.
Precisely because it got hammered by customers now empowered to talk back to the wall, it had to get smarter faster.
Whether Dell can fix the rest of its problems, I don’t know.
But if it keeps on the road it’s now on, it could well end up being the smartest company in the age of customer control. ”
Negative Blogs on Dell are now down to 20% – October 2007 – Source – Lionel Menchaca, Dell’s chief blogger in presentation at Microsoft Global Summit, San Jose, California
Dell is still working on it, but they are starting to listen to what the customer experiences. And its changing the way they do business.
Customer Think is a great place for us to start to gather the tools and techniques for CEM:
What metrics are you using to guide your Customer Experience Management program?
What metrics should you be using?
What’s stopping us from using the metrics we need to guide us to successful CEM?