Dell: The power of listening

Dell: The power of listening

Summary: I think that it's vital that big companies sit up, listen and take note of what consumers are saying. It seems that OEM giant Dell is doing just that.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Dell
32

I think that it's vital that big companies sit up, listen and take note of what consumers are saying. It seems that OEM giant Dell is doing just that.

This from a piece on the Microsoft website:

Dell Innovation Driven By Customers

Last June, the company held its inaugural Customer Advisory Panel (CAP) Days event in Round Rock, Texas, inviting customers active in social media to work for two days side by side with company executives. Dell also recently launched a social media "command center," where teams monitor and respond to conversations with people around the world.

...

"We use all this information not just from a marketing perspective, but to measure the performance of products and people," Tatelman [Michael Tatelman, vice president and general manager, Consumer Sales and Marketing] says. "And it's not just the ratings. We have people reading deep down into the posts and threads, looking for ways to improve our products and for new things we can do."

Ratings and rankings are filtered by keyword and product, allowing engineers to translate the feedback and build the next generation of products.

Not only is it vital that the big guys listen, but that customers give honest feedback - both positive and negative. A company can't respond if customers don't say how they feel.

To be fair, while I've spilled a lot of negative virtual ink about Dell on this blog over the years, it is a company that listens and actively responds to criticism. Like every company, there are those who have their tales of woe, and sometimes you have to work at getting your point across, but on the whole Dell is doing a pretty good job. Good to see it taking things to the next level.

Topic: Dell

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

32 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Dell: The power of listening

    I just switched us from Dell to Lenovo. They have yet to fully listen on Latitude build quality and corporate model overlap period/deprecation policy. However they have significantly improved customer service. Alas it is too operationally impactful to have a dell tech visit one of our sites every day and have some of our users down for a day.
    ploco@...
    • RE: Dell: The power of listening

      @ploco@...

      The Precision line is no better. I've got a M4500 that has the build quality of a Fisher Price toy. And it's a POS as well.
      itguy08
      • RE: Dell: The power of listening

        @itguy08 I freaking love the Precision desktop workstations in the lab. We have three T7500. I don't have a single bad thing to say about any of them and would have no problem buying more from them again.
        StupidTechZealots-23432415690276115908309621553360
      • RE: Dell: The power of listening

        @itguy08

        You still think your opinion matters?
        bobiroc
      • And why should anyone believe you?

        @itguy08
        No matter waht the article is about all we get from you is that:

        [b]All[/b] your Dell stuff has broken weeks months after you bought it.
        [b]All[/b] your MS stuff has broken weeks months after you bought it.

        Do you [b]really[/b] have a M4500?
        Will Pharaoh
      • RE: Dell: The power of listening

        @Stocklone

        Must be better than this M4500. This thing screams POS. The HP it replaced was built like a tank, as was the IBM before that.
        itguy08
    • RE: Dell: The power of listening

      @ploco@...

      I think the latitude E-Series are pretty solid laptops. The D and C series left a bit to be desired.

      Their Optiplex line is OK except for the low end. The mid and higher end model numbers are built well.
      bobiroc
    • RE: Dell: The power of listening

      @ploco@... Don't confuse "Listening" with "Hearing".
      Dell set up a feedback site years ago: http://www.ideastorm.com/
      They've been flooded with ideas over the years. How many have been implemented?

      The Customer Round Rock Advisory Panel or C.R.A.P is another way of giving the illusion of listening, without actually doing anything...
      alan_r_cam
    • RE: Dell: The power of listening

      @ploco@... Dell have always seemed to be more responsive to user feedback and criticism if mainly because of their largely corporate client??le. Its good to see that they are now looking like being more reactive to the everyday user as well.
      <a rel="dofollow" title="Cannabis Seed" href="http://original-ssc.com/">cannabis seed</a>
      Cannabis Seed
  • They are cosing up shop?

    Or are they going to stop making garbage computers?

    What?

    Dell = POS, always has and always will be.
    itguy08
    • If you were working in an IT datacenter with Dell, you wouldn't say that

      @itguy08
      We have Dell Platinum support--worth every penny spent.
      Dell have their act together.
      Dietrich T. Schmitz, *~* Your Linux Advocate
      • RE: Dell: The power of listening

        @Dietrich T. Schmitz, *~* Your Linux Advocate
        OK.. you must not be in IT... everyone that works with Hardware knows Dell is the worst, good luck talking to Indians with scripts when you need help..
        Hasam1991
      • RE: Dell: The power of listening

        @Hasam1991

        Actually this is one of the few occasions I will agree with DTM. My School District has been using dell for many years and aside from a few snafu's they have always given us exceptional pricing, sales service, and warranty/customer service.

        Since I rarely have to call for support because I am a competent IT person they have always given us the parts we need very fast and the machines are reliable. Seeing as they get abused day in and day out from High School students shoving food, paper, and other childish things I think they hold up rather well. We had one bad line with a recalled motherboard and Dell extended the warranty on that board for an extra 3 years so we were able to catch most of them and have them replaced before we retired the line.
        bobiroc
      • RE: Dell: The power of listening

        @Dietrich T. Schmitz, *~* Your Linux Advocate The government division of their support has been top notch. Definitely not just people with scripts.
        StupidTechZealots-23432415690276115908309621553360
  • Is today April Fools?

    Dell listens to customers? Better tell that to the University of Texas. When Dull knew thy had shipped millions of defective computers, and the university called to complain that their computers weren't working right, Dull told them they were trying to solve math problems that were too taxing on the computers! Math problems too taxing on a COMPUTER! LOL

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/29/technology/29dell.html?ref=technology

    And let's not forget the thousands of posters to forums, still complaining about Dell's service, support, and the ever famous, elusive, 'sale' price honoring!

    Let's be honest. Dell is a commodity manufacturer. The build a grey, non-descript box and put other people's parts and operating system inside of it. Then try to sell this box of parts at the most cutthroat price possible, because every other commodity maker makes the same product. So they have to use the cheapest possible parts inside, and hire the cheapest possible offshore support staff. They, and every other PC maker have to, it's the only way to compete when you make a commodity product.

    Man, this made me laugh. Thank you, Adrian, for letting me start off my day smiling. I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend!
    ShazAmerica
    • RE: Dell: The power of listening

      @ShazAmerica

      The post was from around the 2003-2005 era when Dell pretty much hit rock bottom. Basically stopped doing support, cut every corner possible, and had zero design ethos. It's gotten quite a bit better since then.

      The other thing is that all the big computer manufacturers now are using chinese contract manufacturing from multiple sources. So the build quality of individual machines from the same company can vary wildly depending on who built it, which line it was built on, etc.

      The Dell of the last four years or so does actually make a strong effort to listen to customers and adapt to their needs. Listening doesn't always mean that they can summon magic pink ponies which give everyone everything they want with no cost. They still have to sell computers within a cut-throat commodity market. But it they can make tweaks to help customers that don't crush the ability to compete on price-points they try and do so.
      SlithyTove
      • If they have made changes, that's great

        @SlithyTove
        I wonder how many customers they lost for good during their rock bottom days, and how many of the same executives that created the coverup are still in management positions. Just like the predatory monopolists at Microsoft, just because unethical dirtbags are exposed, it doesn't mean they've changed their thought processes. They just learn to hide it better
        ShazAmerica
      • Speaking of unethical dirtbags being exposed

        @ShazAmerica
        you just exposed one here - yourself!

        How "ethical" do you think you are? All you do is post hate and BS against MS and their users, even when the article isn't even about them.

        I'd be ashamed to look at myself in the mirror if I were you.
        Will Pharaoh
      • RE: Dell: The power of listening

        @SlithyTove
        "The post was from around the 2003-2005 era when Dell pretty much hit rock bottom. Basically stopped doing support, cut every corner possible, and had zero design ethos. It's gotten quite a bit better since then."

        Are you kidding? Our company switched to Dell about 3-4 years ago. D600's on the laptops and some junk on the desktop. The D600's pretty much fell apart after a year or so.

        I've got a Precision M4500 and it's junk too. 0 design unless you count the fake alumunim plastic cover as design. You can see the wavy lines above the function keys where it screws together. The bottom is a cheap piece of tin that flexes when you pick it up. In short it screams [b]cheap pos[/b]

        Compare that to the HP/Compau nc series it replaced which still had 0 design but was built like a TANK. As was the IBM Thinkpad beofre that.
        itguy08
    • RE: Dell: The power of listening

      @ShazAmerica

      Uh.. This article is about Dell now... not 6 years ago. They had some bad moments back then. Companies do change you know. I mean Microsoft back in the 90's had some big issues and they too didn't listen too much. It took them many years but they have their act together now for the most part but somehow people still bring up mistakes of the past like they are still relevant today/
      bobiroc