Jeff Jarvis Delighted With Dell (Wait…What?!?!)

DellhellLong-time readers will remember the Dell Hell episodes of a while back. My, how things change. Jeff Jarvis recounts his story of getting together with a number of Dell representatives last week. The key quotes from Jeff:

“It is clear, through them, that at least at some levels, Dell has changed its culture and certainly its attitude toward bloggers. They now see value in reaching out. As they’ve said before, bloggers tend to state their problems clearly, which makes it easier (and, I assume, more efficient) to solve them. A problem solved is not only a customer likely to be saved, but also often leads to good PR and branding as the bloggers recount their happy endings.”


“Welcome to the age of customer control. This isn’t just crowdsourcing. This is crowdmanaging. Companies still fear this. But, hell, if even Dell can lean back and let its customers begin to take charge, anyone can.”


“[Here] is the genius of Lionel Menchaca [Dell blogger]. In a flash, he transformed the image of Dell in my eyes. From a company that wanted to look at but not touch people like me, that wanted customers to come deal in the company’s space on the company’s terms, here suddenly was a guy who spoke honestly and directly. He admitted the company’s problems. But he also answered back…Here, we all could see, was a reasonable man. He immediately earned the respect of me and many other bloggers; this, too, was a point of coalescence. Like Robert Scoble, he gave a borgish company a human voice. He gave us respect and got respect in return.

It works.”

Indeed, it does work. As technology life cycles shorten, real connections — real relationships — between people are the long-term differentiators of a business.

(hat tip: johnnie moore)

Ten Things To Do While Waiting For Dell Tech Support

Crushing Jory for this one, big time.

10 Things to Do/Places to Visit while waiting for Dell Technical Support.

Brilliant. A few excerpts:

#2: “Get all of the unpleasantness over in one fell swoop is my philosophy. While you wait for Dell Customer Support, call up Sprint and try to negotiate out of the lifetime contract you inadvertently entered into when you reduced your minutes; return those obligatory calls to relatives.”


#7: “Have a Dell Customer Support party. Invite over others who are on hold. You don’t have to go through this alone!” (here ya go: the DellHell IRC channel – ed.)

By the way, Jory’s mom Joy just started a blog as well…The Joy Of Six.

Dell Loses Another Sale

First, the Jeff Jarvis snowball.

Then Dell threatens to close, and then closes, its customer forums.

Now this, from Desirable Roasted Coffee.

“Dell Denmark approached me a half-dozen times over the summer, at least. At minor expense, to be sure, but it adds up. But the hum started by a guy 4000 miles away, whom I don’t even know, who had a bad experience with a Dell subsidiary I’ll never have to deal with, was enough to wave me off. The hum got into my subconscious. And Dell Denmark could do nothing to get back into the front of my brain.”

Still think that interactions between members of a customer community don’t matter?

All About DELL – The Social Customer Manifesto Podcast 7JUL2005

click here to subscribe

Welcome iTunes subscribers! Today’s conversation topics include thoughts on Dell’s current customer service and support woes, news on the shuttering of a portion of Dell’s online customer community, and (unrelated to Dell) some upcoming conferences where I hope we can get together in person.

Dell “support” stories

The original Jeff Jarvis post: Dell Hell (more here, here, here, here, here, etc.)
Steve Rubel’s post (with the now-infamous “A-lister” comment)
Technorati tracking
Blogpulse tracking
Blog Business Summit is running a Dell ClueWatch
Forbes: Dell Slashing Customer Service [Costs]
Jory puts Dell on the CSL

Motherboard Chronicles (brilliant writing, in 7 parts…highly recommended)

Dell to terminate their Community Forums tomorrow, July 8

Dell Customer Support Forum (link likely to be inactive after 8JUL2005)

SocialCustomer: I may have missed this in another thread, but has Dell given a reason *why* they are shuttering the non-technical customer service boards?

rickmktg: No reason was stated. One can conclude that Dell continues it’s business focus combined with reducing its expenses. The moderators were expenses. The support and help they gave wasn’t measured, and therefore to the big corporation has no value. And with the India support willing to take the calls real cheap and recommend formatting for every solution, all is well in the Dell corporate world…

Why is Dell killing the forums, after being open for years?

Let’s go straight to Dell and ask, shall we?

Welcome to Dell Chat. Please wait for an available agent. You will be notified when your chat is accepted by an agent.

The session has been accepted.

{Pooja 12:29:21 PM} Thank you for contacting Dell Customer Care chat. My name is Pooja, how may I assist you today?

{CFC 12:29:58 PM} Hi. I noticed that it appears the Dell Customer Service forums are being retired tomorrow. I was wondering why?

{Pooja 12:30:46 PM} Please give me a moment to review your question.

{Pooja 12:32:54 PM} Christopher, as of now there is no information in this regard.

{CFC 12:33:18 PM} Any idea of who within Dell might have the answer?

{Pooja 12:33:27 PM} May I know from where did you get this information?

{CFC 12:33:53 PM} Sure. Let me find the URL.

{Pooja 12:34:10 PM} All right Christopher.

{CFC 12:34:21 PM} link

{CFC 12:34:38 PM} “The Customer Service boards on the Dell Community Forum will be retiring at 3:30pm this Friday, July 8th. Customer Service FAQs will still be available to help answer your questions. If you need further assistance, you may contact our customer service team via Chat or e-mail for any non-technical issue you may have.
Thank you.”

{Pooja 12:36:08 PM} Christopher, I did go through the URL you provided me. Please allow me 4-5 minutes so that I can provide you with further information in this regard.

{CFC 12:36:39 PM} Thank you. I’ll wait.

{Pooja 12:41:02 PM} Thank you for your time.

{Pooja 12:41:55 PM} Christopher, we are closing the Customer Service boards on the Dell Community Forum for the time being as there certain updates which needs to be taken care of.

{CFC 12:42:31 PM} I see. When are they expected to be available again?

{Pooja 12:42:41 PM} Once the board starts the function again their would be a notification on the web site.

{CFC 12:42:59 PM} Do you have a list of the updates that are being made?

{Pooja 12:43:25 PM} No Christopher.

{CFC 12:43:38 PM} Ok. Thank you for your help.

{Pooja 12:43:40 PM} Meanwhile, you may contact our customer service team via Chat or e-mail for any non-technical issue you may have.

{Pooja 12:43:45 PM} You are welcome.

In Other News: Upcoming Conferences

AlwaysOn (July 19-21, Palo Alto CA)
BlogHer (July 30, Santa Clara CA)
GO! (Sept. 18-20, Leesburg VA)