Dell – Is the Social Media Cure Working?

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by: Mark Rogers

Today we publish a new white paper: Responding to Crisis Using Social Media. It is an update to our white paper Measuring Blogger Influence, which looked at the Dell Hell débacle and measured the role of bloggers in creating the damage to Dell’s reputation for good customer service. Dell has publicised their increased investment in customer services and has launched the social media initiatives Direct2Dell (their blog), StudioDell and IdeaStorm to increase dialogue with its customers.

Has it worked? We surveyed customer commentary from before and after the new initiatives and used our net promoters methodology to find out.

The bad news is that the increased spend on customer services ($150m – on Dell’s figures) has not yet had a strong positive impact on overall sentiment. There has been a slight dropping off in the volume of negative commentary about customer service, but errors seem to be up and opposition to off-shoring has increased. The good news for Dell is that its social media initiatives have offset this, and there are signs that they may be successful in changing opinions about the company. The recent PR wins which saw Dell salvage XP for domestic customers and announce the launch of a Linux Ubuntu desktop (although they occurred after our data sample was taken) have reinforced the impression that using social media is a big customer service plus for Dell.

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