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.