Customer Service in Second Life

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It’s been
too long since I’ve blogged here and I hope that people don’t think that’s
because we’ve joined the companies quoted in a recent Forbes
article
(registration required) saying they were pulling out of Second
Life.  GigaOM
has a good post that debunks many of the business myths perpetuated in that and
other recent articles. 

I’ve
actually been kept busy with 2D activity-leading an initiative to look at
potential new designs for the home page of Dell.com.  But, that’s a future story to come.  As I recently told an L.A. Times reporter who
chose to leave all of my comments out of her
article
, we remain pleased with our entry into the metaverse through SL and
we plan to continue building our community there and learning from our first
foray into virtual worlds.  There has
been a drop in the daily traffic to our space over the past few months, but in
all honesty, we haven’t given people a whole lot of new and interesting reasons
to visit.  As I noted in
a response
to a ZDNet blogger, though, we still see a lot of opportunity to
connect with people through this platform.  

We did do a
Rock the
Ark party
, and streamed in a video from our Inspiron launch event.  And, we recently streamed Michael Dell’s Small Business
Town Hall into SL, and he
even took a question from the group watching there during his live Q&A
session. And, we’ve built out a StudioDell Theater where you can watch videos
from our Webby-award-winning StudioDell
site.  But, as we hear from Grace
McDunnough
and Linda
Zimmer
, it takes more than those sort of things to make this environment
work.  We need more ways for you to
interact with us there.

So, as
further evidence of our continued exploration in 3D interactions, I’m excited
to introduce a new member of the Dell family in SL -Todd Dell.  Todd is part of our Online Community Outreach
team and he is about to begin keeping office
hours
on Dell
Island
to provide assistance to residents who visit our virtual space.  From directing you to the new StudioDell
theater, to helping you with Dell customer service and tech support issues.
Todd is based in the U.S.,
but will have the contacts inside of Dell to get assistance for customers in
other parts of the world.

Beginning
August 6, Todd will be hanging out in our new coffee shop, The Buzz and Bean,
in Dell City Monday – Friday, 5 – 6am SLT and 12
– 2pm SLT. Based on traffic and demand, we may adjust those hours in the
future.  Yes, I know avatars can’t drink
coffee, but we thought the comfortable atmosphere of a coffee shop might be a
relaxing place to chat about whatever is on your mind.  Although advice for your live life isn’t
exactly the sort of questions Todd hopes to be able to answer for you.  Do drop by with your Dell-related inquiries
though!

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16 thoughts on “Customer Service in Second Life

  1. Is it just me, or does the whole customer support on SL seem pointless. Real Life customer service is horrible enough, why stretch out resources even further. IMO, a more helpful CSR with knowledge and not just copy and pasted answers would be a better investment. And don’t get me started on all of the things surrounding the m1330 launch….its been a nightmare. So to Dell I say this….you used to be on top of the world, now its looking like you will never be at that level again if things keep going the way they are. I think its about time to get back to your roots of great customer relations and a quality product. If I were Michael Dell and I saw all of the forums, emails, etc of people’s opinions, I would go back to where it all started and think about how he gained the trust of millions in the first place.

  2. Second Life : Customer Service???  Why don’t you put the resource’s used to come up with that idea into acquiring parts, building and shipping your M1330’s on time.  If my order status goes one day over the already crazy estimated shipping date, I’m just going to cancel the order and stay away from dell completely. 

  3. I guess I’ll reserve judgement.  If enough folks in Second Life seek out customer support & find value in it, great for Dell.  If not, guess they’ll probably just shut it down.  Does Dell have other problems to deal with?  Sure!  But I’d rather not knock a company trying to become more responsive to a wide variety of users on a variety of different fronts.  Anyway, what does customer service have to do with their inability to fulfill orders in a timely manner?  Aren’t those 2 different, unrelated things?

  4. Dell Island is a quiet place, not a soul there when I paid a visit. Any interactivity I found there was useless. Although it is well designed visually, I hardly think that it was worth the effort for Dell to build it. How about bringing your customer service back to the United States? That would be a smart move.

  5. I think the Second Life thingy was pointless and waste of time/money, not many people know about second life, and lot of company has been pulling out of this cash-eater recently.

  6. KnotEye – thanks for keeping an open mind. That’s the best I could hope for as we experiment with new ways to connect with customers.

    tstate09 and Dan – let me reassure you that the time Todd and I spend in SL does not pull resources away from the Dell teams that are working on the M1330 or those that provide other avenues for customer service.

    Trevor – while the office hours we’re beginning won’t give 24/7 staff to Dell Island, the point is that we want to keep it from being too quiet of a place. So, I hope you’ll come back again when we’re there to chat some more.

    Minh Tran – don’t believe everything you read about how much companies are spending in SL, or about how many are pulling out. Both have been grossly overstated in many recent stories.

  7. hello folks. I ve tried to contact kerya on sl many times. Requesting her an audition for a sl job at Dell’s Island. I know that she must be very bussy, but she never replied my messages. I would love to work for Dell’s good at sl. We are a huge sl latin group who would love to get involved with Dell at sl. Host events at our Discos or provide technical assitance.. just get involved. Personally i don’t think that just one person will make a difference to increase traffic on your island. We know how to make it. Just reply our messages or contact us back. My sl name is ELRODO BARBOSA. i hope to hear from you soon. thank you.

  8. Second life reaches a very specific demographic.  Is Dell specifically targeting the online Second Life population as a primary market, or are they just taking advantage of new web 2.0 communication platforms?

     -4MySales

  9. I have to agree that it seems a gigantic ***-up to spend company resources on a virtual CSR outlet when traditional resources are so dismal.

    I wrote to the customer advocate e-mail address on the Direct2Dell web site — no response. 

    I wrote to [email protected] to ask why no one responded to the customer advocate inquiries — again, no response. 

    I can't get a person who can do any more than read from a script when I call for pre-sales assistance. 

    I tried calling the real Round Rock phone number — a toll call on my dime — and couldn't get through to a departmental directory or an operator.

    After an hour in a CS on-line chat session, I finally gave up and dropped out.  The guy was just taking too long to "research" the answers.

    I was promised — along with others at my school — the ability to use a substantial discount coupon that was test-marketed.  It didn't work.  And, my school has paid a staff person's salary to deal with student complaints while trying to do his regular job.

    I can't use the coupons that I received in an EPP mailing — there is nothing about qualification other than an expiration date.  The "Coupon Error" message gives me no information.

    I can't get any help by calling the sales staff, because they don't have access to information.  And, most of them are reading from a script anyway so can't deal with "unusual" requests like mine.

    All I want to do is buy a computer.

    Sigh…

  10. All I wanted to do was buy a computer, too……thought I had one…till something went wrong and I found out the truth about what I had been sold. None of the comments I’ve posted here on this line I was given by a Dell employee to register my complaints have been posted….so can only surmise that the ones I DO see are the best of what has been sent to you…pretty pitiful thought….that all these horrible things I’m reading are the BEST that anybody can say about Dell.

    I will NOT drop a dollar in MIchael Dell’s cup when I see him standing on a street-corner in Austin in the future….because he will be the one person who DESERVES to be there!

  11. I tried to pla Second life and there is a note that told me that I dont have or is update my video card driver, so what can I do, if there a free download of this card I can have? please let me know, I been playing Sims long time ago, and this new game could be the next step in virtual life, so please help me as soon as posible.

  12. Why on earth can’t Dell do a simple modification to an order – especially considering the long delay for the XPS.  I ordered mine on August 24th, but made a simple error as I wanted the 9 cell 85Whr as well as the 4 cell 37Whr battery (which was only $20 more).  However, I can’t get anyone to make that simple change and one person wanted to cancel my order and re-enter it which would mean another 2 week delay not to mention that the system has gone up price since my original order.

    I have written and left numerous phone messages with the original order taker and he has not responded to either.  If it is this difficult to get a simple order changed (especially considering the long lead time and the fact I’m not changing anything on the computer itself), how difficult will it be to get technical assistance if needed.  For heaven’s sake, what is wrong with this picture???

    If anyone from Dell can get back to me with a simple and understandable answer, I would sure appreciate it!

  13. Hi, I found this site from your info in your SL profile.  I hope you can answer my question!  I am interested, unlike some other close minded people, in have a Customer Service option in SL.  Can you tell me if there has been an update to the hours at the coffee shop in SL?  I’ve been there the last two days waiting for some Dell guidance but no one has shown up yet!  On an up note though, I did make some nice friends that were also waiting there for some assistance!

    Thanks,

    Ivie (in SL!)

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