Hey Michael Dell, bring customer service home

Hey Michael Dell, bring customer service home

Summary: One of the reasons given for Michael Dell re-claiming the CEO mantle at Dell last week was the realization that customer service standards had slipped, and need to be restored.In our ZDNet neighborhood, as well as in the blogosphere and among friends and neighbors, this perception has taken on a disturbingly common truism: bought a Dell, had a problem, called customer service, got someone in India, they weren't especially helpful.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Dell
3

One of the reasons given for Michael Dell re-claiming the CEO mantle at Dell last week was the realization that customer service standards had slipped, and need to be restored.

In our ZDNet neighborhood, as well as in the blogosphere and among friends and neighbors, this perception has taken on a disturbingly common truism: bought a Dell, had a problem, called customer service, got someone in India, they weren't especially helpful.

Oftentimes this lack of helpfulness is blamed on confusing directions, other times on language and diction issues.

While I am quite uncomfortable with attacking people for the way they speak, I do have to wonder why Dell has been tone-deaf to the criticisms about problem with their Tier I consumer-level tech support. Perhaps it is because it has been part of their corporate lore that the money saved by outsourcing this support overseas will successfully influence the bottom line and then the stock price.

But perhaps not. The decline in Dell's stock price is a key reason cited for Michael Dell's return. It is his name on the door, you know.

Michael's off to a good start, cutting bonuses and trimming management layers. But he needs to do more. 

So in light of these problems, I would suggest that Michael Dell and key staffers look at bringing consumer tech support back to the U.S.A. Such an evaluation should not be performed strictly as a cost-benefit analysis based on quantifiable expenditure factors, but with sensitivity for the sales lost as former customers bolt and tell their friends to, as well.

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

3 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Needed to be said

    Thank you for stating what is obvious to so many, Russell. It's not xenophobia or making fun of someone else to not like overseas tech support. If I'm having a hard time understanding the operator, it doesn't matter to me if they're from India or Ireland.

    It's a continual surprise to me that companies can outsource service and somehow pretend the quality will remain high. That some other corporation, facing the same pressures to cut costs and maximize profits, is going to treat your customers with a higher level of service than you can provide yourself is a walking hallucination. It's a crutch for some VP in the chain to use to justify offloading a call center and make their numbers. And as long as those VP's are being evaluated on making their numbers instead of the customer service scores, nothing is going to change.

    Some people argue that it's no different than outsourcing your package delivery to UPS. But it is different when there's direct customer contact involved. You may trust UPS to deliver your packages, but you don't necessarily trust them to service your product or your accounts.
    Chad_z
  • Dell blew it years ago.

    I?ve owned 3 PCs in my lifetime. The first I bought in 1995, the 2nd in 1999 and the most recent in 2004.

    The first two were Dell. I was a loyal Dell (Consumer) customer from day one. I had absolutely no hardware problems whatsoever.

    Once in 1998, I ran into a software problem (Windows) and called Dell for help. I talked to a very friendly and very helpful guy for a good 15 minutes.

    He talked me through a number of scenarios to help fix my problem.

    Toward the last 5 minutes of my call the tech asked me to hold for a moment. When he came back he said ?my supervisor says I?m taking too long on this call and I need to wrap it up?.

    That was the most insane thing I?ve ever heard from any customer service rep, anywhere.

    I don?t remember how we finished up but either he ultimately helped me resolve my problem or I figured the rest out on my own.

    But after that experience my opinion of Dell plummeted. At the time I was employed in the call center/customer service industry myself and I knew what hellholes they are.

    Their biggest concern is to get the slaves to take as many incoming calls as possible.

    They accomplish this by penalizing workers for taking too much time with customers.

    Their excuse is ?efficiency?. In reality it?s just money and nothing more.

    These places dictate the precise minute you?re to go to lunch or go for a break and if you deviate by more than a few minutes (god help you if you just took a call before you went on break) then you get slapped on the wrist.

    I figure this guy was in the same situation.
    A year or two after that he probably lost his job when Dell fired most of their U.S. telephone support team and outsourced their jobs to India.

    So now we get the same moronic call-center based crappy customer service AND a language barrier to boot.

    And scads of Americans were put out of the work in the process.

    I?ve wised up. I got out of that crappy industry (I too was laid off - a blessing in disguise) AND I resolved never to buy from Dell again.

    My third and most recent PC I bought elsewhere.

    I wouldn?t even consider buying from Dell again, until they hired back all the fired U.S. tech support people and stopped routing U.S. tech support calls offshore. They did it before, they can do it again.

    As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for.
    angrykeyboarder
  • RE: Hey Michael Dell, bring customer service home

    TRY "EBAUHMS WORLD" UNDER PHONE PRANKS; "DELL SUPPORT". SIT BACK AND HAVE A BLAST.

    TEN9399@HOTMAIL.COM
    TEN9399