I've been looking at some of the rankings in the American Customer Satisfaction Index's latest quarterly report.
What the ACSI says about Dell not only is not pretty, but says a lot about what in terms of customer service turns American consumers off.
First, of all the technology oriented service providers ranked by percentage of consumers satisfied with the service, Dell dropped the most ACSI points from the previous canvass.
"Based on a strategy of mass customization, the #1 PC maker worldwide has been a leader in customer satisfaction for several years. This quarter, it suffers a sharp drop in ACSI, down 6% to 74," writes Prof. Claes Fornell, Director of the University of Michigan School of Business' National Quality Research Center.
"Customer service in particular has become a problem, and service quality lags not only Apple but also the rest of the industry," writes Prof. Fornell in comments issued in conjunction with the report. "Customer complaints are up significantly with long wait-times and difficulties with Dell’s call-center abound."
The long wait times are self-explanatory. And as to the call-center issues, they are known for giving people the run-around, relying too much on outsourced tech support that sticks to scripts as opposed to offering those important workaround solutions informed by direct experience and expertise.
In some quarters, that's the rap on Vonage. They, and others, should learn from surveys like this. Don't just hand the customer service ball off to an outsourcer and expect your customers to be happy.