Monday, January 30, 2012

The Transformational Journey of Dell - from Hell-being to Well-being

It was back in June 2005, when Dell Inc. received some major complaints concerning its customer support services. Blogger Jeff Jarvis who coined his blog as “Dell Hell” posted a series of negative blogs about the Dell laptop he’d purchased. Within days, his post caught the attention of others who also had bad customer experience and “Dell Hell” began to catch the attention of the mainstream media. While Dell was surrounded in the negative limelight, it continued silence on the issue which resulted in Dell’s dipping sales and reputation.

Listen-engage-act is the mantra of success for companies/brands in the social media space. While Dell was late to realize the power of online communication, but today it has the most sought after social media communication strategy.

A year after the incident, Dell launched its own blog named Direct2Dell. It further expanded its blogging platform by including a blog for employees and investors. According to Dell, in 2006, at least 50% of Dell’s online conversation was negative. A year later, the negative online conversation was reduced to 23%. While Direct2Dell was one of the ways to engage customers in online conversation, Dell recently launched its own dedicated 'Social Media Listening Command Centre' in Texas head office, in order to track, monitor and respond to consumer conversation online including applications like Twitter and Facebook.

The company's command centre has multiple display screens and manned stations which track web mentions across the globe. It’s also remarkable to note that Dell launched SMAC University (Social Media and Community) to train its employees on various aspects of social media and since then it has trained 5000 staff.

Michael Dell, CEO, Dell Inc. said it right that “You want to have big ears and be tuned in to what’s going on out there in the marketplace.” It is fascinating to see that the top management in the organization is realizing the business value of social media and championing the initiative. Dell is an excellent example of how social media can be used by organizations to improve customer experience.

I believe the Social Media Listening Command Centre is an excellent way to listen, engage and act to the customers’ real time. All this totally shows that Dell has made a strong come-back in the online media and learnt from the mistake once made back in 2005! What do you think?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

#SocialNetwork in the air...

Call it social media, social network or internet; this web is not just restricted to connecting people on earth but now also in the air! Meet & Seat, the new social tool is going to be introduced this year by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines - part of Air France KLM. While this tool definitely sounds interesting but personally, I’m unsure about the success of this tool due to various factors which follow below:

· Will I really bother to find an air-mate for few hours?

· Will I bother to while away time online for searching the one-an-only person who I could talk to in the aircraft?

· Will I be comfortable sharing my personal information with a stranger?

These were some basic questions that were spinning around my head when I read about this latest concept. While I may worry about the questions stated above but somewhere this tool can work wonders for people - may be you can crack a business deal sitting with a person from the same industry….or you can make a friend for lifetime!

It’s interesting to observe that the tool will work with Facebook and Linkedin, but not Twitter. I wonder why they opted out Twitter.

Social media is not just a tool anymore; it has become like a nerve in a human body. If it breaks down, you are so dead!