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
    TJW, 14 Jun 2006 @ 12:33pm

    Re: virus help

    Well, honestly, I don't think it's appropriate for customers to expect assistance with virus removal on a support phone call.

    It's fine for a company to do enough troubleshooting with the customer to determine that, yes, the system is indeed infected with a trojan horse/virus. But many trojans and spyware prorgams are getting advanced enough so they can lodge themselves into Windows at the kernel level (rootkits). You simply can't ensure they're removed without doing a reformat and reinstall, period.

    Many times, yes, a technician who knows what he/she is doing can get a system cleaned up successfully. I used to do on-site computer service calls and often did just that for people. But on average, a proper cleanup took about 2 hours - and I relied on noticing the little details to determine if I really had it clean or not. It wasn't the type of thing most customers would notice and report to you over the phone. (EG. Is it pausing a little longer than usual when people first log in to XP? Is one of the icons for an all-in-one printer device not showing up as active in the system tray?)

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