Dell Finally Notices Its Poor Service Hurts Sales

from the ya-think? dept

For quite some time, Dell has been getting slammed for its shoddy customer service, something that's contributed to its slowing business and declining market share. But what was obvious to the outside world apparently wasn't clear to the company -- which at one point thought it would be a good idea to remove its toll-free support number from its web site to prevent people from calling -- as it's only recently really moved to improve its service and try to repair its dented reputation. This illustrates one of the downsides of competing largely on price -- when your competitors match, you've got to be prepared to differentiate and compete in other areas, something it looks like Dell's heavy focus on cost-cutting prevented. What's interesting is that many of the reforms Dell's new customer-service boss wants to implement are riffs on its manufacturing procedures, making it even more surprising that nobody noticed before. However, one stock analyst says all the changes (and resultant costs) "sure doesn't help Dell make its quarterly numbers" -- but when its poor service is holding back sales, the company's got little choice.

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  1. identicon
    Dan, 13 Jun 2006 @ 6:09pm

    build quality

    The service wouldn't be nearly so big of an issue if the quality of Dell's computers wasn't so pathetic.

    My school re-sells Dell laptops to all of the unsuspecting new students. Dell must give the school a kickback, because the school bullies ignorant people into buying from them by claiming "all laptops break, so you'll need our support, and we only support the computers we sell."

    With daily use my HP has had zero problems. Probably half of the people with "top of the line" Dell Latitudes has had a problem relating directly to poor design. More broken power cords than you can count. Keys literally fall off of the Dell keyboards regularly, and the lettering on the keyboards was rubbed off of most people's keys by the end of the first semester. Most cases are now discolored by palm prints.

    The other dells I've seen bad hard disks, fans that failed in under a year, and bad motherboards.

    There's no way saving a few bucks over and HP/IBM/or anyone else is worth the aggravation. What surprises me about the article is that it's taken this long for Dell's sales to drop.

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