While it is premature to write off Dell yet, the negative stories being told by Dell customers in blogs and forums has spiked dramatically since Jeff Jarvis started blogging about his own problems at BuzzMachine.

Dell’s customer service problems have now hit the pages of Business Week.

Key to good customer service is having communication lines in place which ensure you are informed about any real or imagined problems. Next you need to actually respond to this information. This, to me, seems to be where Dell has failed. They seem to have ignored people shouting from the rooftops about poor customer service. Where it will end for Dell is open to speculation. They will certainly need drastic and expensive action if they are to make the smell go away.

All of us in the service business can learn from this Dell mess.

I had a client of my Australian software company comment to me about rumors about poor Dell customer service. Such is the power of word of mouth.

The Dell mess has prompted us to look again at our contact mechanisms to ensure that we are as open and responsive as possible.

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