Un-concreting the Cow Path

It is hard for me to believe that it has been 10 years for www.dell.com.

Back in those days, everything about the website was streamlined—the information architecture, our vision and maniac focus on the user experience.  The site was an extension of how we naturally interacted with our customers … directly.  We tested the laws of e-commerce in those days by challenging conventional wisdom that complex configurable products could never be sold and supported online.  We innovated, we broke glass within Dell, we made a science out of the purchase path.

The unfortunate truth is that we ended up concreting the cow path.  We measured everything. We began designing and orienting the site around those measurements.  Over the last couple of years, we watched as our site became larger, more complex, harder to use, and downright fatiguing.  We ended up making easy very hard.  

It was time to go a bit back to the future.  We needed to get back some of the old risk and innovation (break some more glass) and focus on the user experience, organize the site the way customers want to use it versus the way Dell is organized, and provide comprehensive and inspiring information about our products.  Our goal was to do this in a consistent and uncluttered format and — most importantly — make easy easy again.
If you have been spending any time on dell.com recently, you may have noticed some of these changes.  Our journey is to continue to blend the science with the art with a focus on our users.

We are focused on making things easy again.  Love to hear what you think.

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59 thoughts on “Un-concreting the Cow Path

  1. You should make a better attempt to involve your customers in this converstation. The first thing you can do is advertise your blog. It’s not shown on dell.com or any of the other communication avenues you have with your customers.

    The second thing you can do is ask us questions about what we want. This seems to be a failed attempt to get back in touch with the customers you have lost. Simply creating the image of a transparent edge will not solve your problems. Solving real customer issues will. It can start here.

    My first request is a better support knowledge base. It’s impossible to find drivers let alone answers to difficult systems issues.

  2. This is great. But where’s Michael Dell? I don’t see the point in blogging if the big guy isn’t posting.

  3. Happy to see the blogs got off the ground!

    I’m glad that the powers that be have recognised that the overall Dell.Com experience is hideously confusing and too centered around how Dell does business internally, instead helping a customer make a simplified, INFORMED choice about which product they need.  The removal of enforced segmentation high up in the buying path is the first step, it’s 10 years overdue frankly. It is not however gone, but that is a larger internal organisational problem that Dell has to overcome.  That will take time (and politics).

    Secondly, the checkout process is horribly complicated, and although great strides have been made in giving customers large amounts of choice relatively simply – the end result is that even a simple product purchase becomes a maze of navigating options, upsells, accessories etc.   This is partially due to the poor boundaries between products (and I’m thinking about the lower-mid-level Dimensions here as the #1 culprit), where a base product can be configured up to the next level pretty easily but without the same base price as the next model up.  

    Clearer silo’ing of product and reduction of the number of product lines (and using consistent names between the individual sales segments) is key here.  The cost advantages of managing fewer product lines are also obvious here, both in terms of marketing dollars you have to spend on them, the potential support cost reduction given a more consistent product hardware base – and fewer confused customers.

    Fewer product lines also mean you can focus your best-of-breed thinking on each one, and engineer and package each one as if its the only thing you make.  The last point I would make on the hardware is that it’s not good to be the lowest priced competitor, people will pay a premium for a well-engineering, good looking and well supported system.

    Lastly, Dell isn’t agile enough.  From an IT perspective it is bogged down in process that both stifles creative thinking, and makes it impossible to react quickly to potentially useful new technology.  You shouldn’t be afraid to break a mould and really step out and try something new – even if it upsets people, ultimately it’s for the better good of the company.  And if it doesn’t work, chalk it up to experience and move on.  It hasn’t hurt Amazon.

  4. It is great that you are putting more effort in making your website easier for everyone.

    I think the major challenge for companies like Dell is the technical support. I’d like to be able to talk to people who actually know what they are talking about, not just reading it from a website as I could be doing that myself. I’d be willing to pay more for a consumer line product if it meant that I would be getting better support.

  5. The new dell.com is moving in the right direction. I dont like it yet, but I see some great promise. I really didn’t like how the first decision I had to make when coming to the site is to describe what business type I was before moving on. Here’s the annoying thing though – you still have to choose a business type before seeing real products. Clicking on notebooks doesn’t do anything you have to say "Notebooks for Home & Home office or Government, Or education, or Small business. " I don’t care! I just want to see all the laptops you guy sell. Why?! Like I said it’s moving in the right direction by separating out the hardware types, but good grief! Just let me see the products.

    By the way, I love that you’re blogging now, that’s fantastic.

  6. I remember back in the days 8 years ago when I purchase my first Dell laptop, everything was just right: the customer service, the product, and the price.  Now, only the price is right.  The recent designs just make me want to puke, and the customer service, though exists, is uneffective.  I’m techie myself, but needed little service once maybe a year, but each time, Dell just keeps on disappointing me.  I can’t understand the support staff, when I do, they keeps on reading the scripts that is written out for them.  The staff simply don’t know how to think.

    The cost of outsourcing customer service is your CUSTOMERS.  The irony in that.  After 7 Dells, I began purchasing HP last year and hasn’t look back to the Hell that is Dell.

  7. Good post.  Too bad Microsoft hasn’t learned this lesson yet.  A decade ago their tagline was Making It Easier (and an objective for people that worked there)… I wish they’d kept it…

    Andrew and Shel are right – take your time.  Don’t pull an HP and arrogantly tell us how great you are.  That strategy might have gotten you some quick digerati props ("Dell is Blogging, How About You?"), but it doesn’t start a conversation that might actually result in more people buying more of your products.

  8. You need to fix your customer support system and then fix your products. As a recent purchaser of Dell products, I would have to say that both products (one a Dell 20" LCD monitor and a Del Axim x51 PDA) have had major failures. I contacted Dell support about both these issues without satisfactory resolution. My monitor stand is still not adjustable in the way it should be and the PDA sometimes won’t start even after repeated attempts at a solution by Dell CS. I have lost faith in Dell to execute on products and I think the mentality of cutting costs to the bone has cost Dell its reputation. I remember a day when Dell was synonymous with reliable PCs and decent customer service at great prices. I don’t believe any of that is true except the low prices. If it is a race to the bottom that Dell believes they are in … well you are winning that race but I am afraid this is one race you don’t want to win.

  9. I couldn’t agree more with Andrew. I cannot stand having to select the size of my business and then the line of laptops I am interested in. Just show me laptops and let me optionally search for the processor type, screen etc.

    You have lost a number of sales to me because I could not be bothered browsing around for hours.

    Nevertheless, I think this blog is a great idea.

  10. Per Brett Rogers above:

    "I’d recommend that Dell apply a swat team to get out into the field and listen to its customer base and potential customer base about all problems across all computers and then apply the solutions and tell us how you solved the problems here on your blog."

    Actually, Dell has deployed a SWAT-like team. I made a comment on a popular blog (forget where), and received a couple e-mails from Dell CS within a week. (I commented about my recent purchase of Dell. No problems so far, BTW.)

    So, Dell is listening.


  11. In contrast to some of the snark going round the blogosphere right now, I think this could be a really good thing for you, if you do it properly (i.e. both the redesign of dell.com and this blog).  First thing’s first, put your link to the blog About page at the TOP of the page – you’re about five seconds from a click-away if a new reader can’t figure out what the point of the blog is.  

    Second, more opinion pieces – get your people to actually talk about what’s going on in the marketplace generally, what they see as the up and coming technologies (not just Dell ones) and what Dell’s doing about it. Trust them to represent your company well and give them the freedom to talk with the passion that got them into technology in the first place.  Sure, we want to hear about new products and services you have, but don’t make that the focus or this thing will become an advertising reel.  Oh, and be open and honest about your failures and reply to your critics (a great example of this can be seen in the LAPD’s response to the LA Times savaging of it’s new blog <a href="http://lapdblog.typepad.com/lapd_blog/2006/05/lapd_response_t_1.html">here</a&gt;.

    Good luck in the blogosphere Dell, you’re off to a reasonable start.  

    Oh yeah, full-text RSS feeds, minimum twice-daily updates and a dedicated blogger who provides the core content wouldn’t hurt either.

  12. People are right aobut the dell web site.  At one itme it was very good and leading edge.  Now its a mess.  Your continued efforts at upselling all kinds of stuff don’t help.  Reinstate the discussion groups you took away!!!!

  13. I find the responsiveness of dell.com to be maddening.  VERY slow.  Dell’s is the only commerce site I have to "come back later".  I would think that a company that depends so heavily on web sales would have a more robust site.

  14. Why do you base your customer service and tech support division in India? I know it saves you money, but…they don’t…SPEAK ENGLISH!!! And they don’t understand what you’re saying and they don’t know how to relate to Americans. Therefore, they don’t serve the customer – and after wating 20 minutes to talk to someone, I’d like them to be able to understand what I’m saying and respond to me.


  15. I love Dells support site – the File Downloads section and the interactive troubleshooting are awesome!

    Someone obviously put a lot of thought and hard work into launching these tools!

    Great – they meet all and exceed some of my expectations.

  16. The support site needs some help, I get tired of selecting a primary system, I don’t have a primary system, I have stuff as old as PE2200 servers and as new as a Dimension E310. I was imprest with the E-mail support. I put in a request for a new monitor on a 3 year old Dimension, and only had to answer 1 additional e-mail requesting the monitors serial number before it was shipped. Not to shabby. I own 7 Dells, 2 PowerEdge servers, 1 Latitude, and 4 Dimensions, I’m glad to see Dell making an effort to get back to better support.

  17. The way dell.com is organized makes it very difficult to figure out which graphics card is appropriate.  For example, let’s say your goal is to buy an office computer which runs two 24" LCD monitors.  Clicking on the graphics card options during the configuration process shows you if the graphics card can run dual monitors, but doesn’t tell you what sizes.  You have to go to another part of the Dell web site (the graphics card manual) to figure that out.

    There is also minimal specs on the system.  If you want to get a graphics card from elsewhere because Dell doesn’t have the graphics card you need, you need to know the maximum watts the graphics card can use with the system, for example.

    On a seperate topic – when I price a computer, I have to go to at least two different places on the Dell web site to compare prices (small biz, home), sometimes more (specials).  Would be nice to be able to have it organized so I can see all the deals currently on offer for the e510 or 5150, all lined up in columns.

  18. A link to some other website would be nice, too. Face the blogging critics. Link to the articles that mention this blog, and answer them. It’s a networked, distributed conversation you should aim for, not just a vertical one with individual blog visitors.

    The absence of links, and the apparent lack of blogosphere consiounceness raises the suspicion that the author, Manish Mehta, isn’t publishing himself (herself?), but instead writes little articles in Microsoft Word and sends them to a web-savvy assistant. If that’s true: stop it, and do it yourself. If you don’t, it makes the website feel fake and empty, without a real person behind it.

  19. Manish –

    Good to see your name again.  You are correct that the "way of the cow" was taken – but that was not wrong in theory. Managing site design via metrics is not a bad thing.  What is a bad thing is to manage design off these metrics alone.  What is even worse is to dilute the design and customer experience to achieve short term goals.  I highly doubt that the creative agency folks wanted to add more items on a page – or more pages for that matter.  Shame on Dell for doing that.  

    In the end, you need to find a way to tie all things back to customer experience desired by the customer – not the company.  Dell has an advantage to create a superior customer experience – because they know so much about their customers by selling direct.  Put that to use and talk to those customers more often.  Create a design that is simple and your metrics (and customer and sales) will come.  It is OK to look at other companies and say "they are better than us at that."  But then fix it and make it world class again.

    As for the blog –  if Dell is going to do this, then it must blog for real.  It must embrace blogging even more than it did the Dell Forums.  It must be wide open, two-way, good and bad, and most of all, honest communication.  If the entire machine gets run through the corporate communications group and appears to be part of a master PR plan – then all you are doing is poking the 8000 LB customer gorilla.  You are now publicly in the arena.  There is no turning back now – the genie is out of the bottle.

    I challenge Dell to try and make Jeff Jarvis a fan again.  Yes, I am serious when I say that.  When I was at Dell, it was always stressed that you had to have a stretch goal.  If you lacked one it was assumed you were not really going to push yourself to succeed at the highest of levels.  That should be your stretch goal – not just cleaning up the website or launching a blog.  Make eCare, eSupport, and other core customer experience areas a priority over eCommerce for once.  Find a way to make a guy who completely hates you – not hate you as much (face it, he will never really like you).

    To all those who are griping that Mr. Dell is not posting, and complaining that this blog is no good because only "unknowns" like Manish are – you are looking the gift horse in the mouth.  If you had worked at Dell you would know that Manish can drive changes at the working level much quicker.  He founded support.dell.com.  He has worked in no less than a dozen different groups at a high level across the company.  He has the ear of Mr. Dell.  Don’t underestimate the influence that a Director of Global eCommerce has at Dell.  It is not small, by any stretch of the imagination.

    Would it be nice to have Mr. Dell post?  Sure.  Would it help you get things changed quicker?  Nope.  You need to speak with the folks who are really running the day to day operations – like Manish.  If he fails to fix it (or the others that post), then hold him accountable.  If he admits the issue – accept it as a good start and be (a little) patient.

  20. Thanks for your note, Andy B. and others.  As part of Dell’s efforts to improve Customer Experience, we have efforts underway to improve the quality of our online support knowledge base (basic goal is to increase our customer’s ability to resolve all their problems online without needing an additional call/chat/email) and make our Drivers & Downloads online tool easier to use.  These are just 2 of the many programs we have planned for our Support website, with both near-term improvements and long-term enhancements being implemented.  I’m sorry that you’ve had trouble in the past with the Support website, but you have my commitment that we are moving as quickly as we can to improve the effectiveness & usability of the site.

  21. Louis, sorry to hear about your ongoing issues with your monitor and your Axim.  Please visit the Outstanding Issues page, where a support agent can assist you.

    Terry, what discussion boards are you referring to?

  22. My two cents: y’all got beat up pretty bad with greatly varying user experiences. You’re not the only computer company with that problem, but perhaps the most notorious for it. I’d recommend that Dell apply a swat team to get out into the field and listen to its customer base and potential customer base about all problems across all computers and then apply the solutions and tell us how you solved the problems here on your blog. Give us the story of sweat and innovation behind the answer. Show us that you’re listening and changing.

  23. I wondered if you could comment on the exploding lap top pictures I saw a few weeks ago.  I have a Dell Inspiron at home that gets pretty hot and I take it on planes.  It’s agood machine in all other respects I hasten to add.

  24. I’m not sure why Dell feels a blog will help them learn about what their customer’s want when there has been so much negative feedback about the company for years from both corporate and end user customers.

    I’m a 15-year IT pro, and have dealt with Dell at the professional level and I used to buy all Dell computers years ago. I stopped and now won’t even consider the machines, because of limted options, high price for performance, lack of upgradability, horrible horrible support, etc.  In short, everything about the experience of purchasing and owing one went downhill. To be constructive, I’ll throw in my 2 cents here too with some suggestions:

    – I’ll say it since I don’t think anyone else has. Get rid of the overseas call centers, and start staffing support lines with people who are native english speakers. Every single person I have ever talked to or read about who’s had a Dell and has had to go through the normal support channels passionately hates their experience. Hates it. I’ll repeat again – hates it. Why does Dell and other tech firms insist on forcing customers to deal with this when we all hate it, and you know we do.

    – Make it easy for unhappy customers to escalate salessupport complaints to sr. corporate customer service level employees instead of doing whatever possible to hide all such contact phone numbers from customers (been through this personally on more than one occassion!)

    – Follow up purchases with 30 day and perhaps 1 year satisfaction surveys and deal with the pain of hearing how dissapointed your customer base is with your products and service.

    – Simplify the line, focus on making rock solid reliable machines at competetive performance levels. No consumer should have to pick from 30-40 models of desktops and laptops. Try to offer machines that can all have their CPUs upgraded so that Dell purchases are not outdated within 6 months of receipt. Sell off Alienware, you are not in the business of high end, custom units. I doubt Alienware customers want to buy from Dell, and I doubt the typical Dell customer wants an Alienware. Not a good match, IMHO.

    – Offer comprehensive warranties. Cross ship a replacement machine if a dell PC fails within warranty. Guarantee a replacement via overnight delivery. Make the design easy for a customer to swap out their storage so they can easily use the replacement without losing their data.

    – Figure out a bullet proof way to create a system with Windows where a clueless tech support person will NEVER have to tell you to blow away your hard drive and re-install the operating system. Find a way to provide flawess backup & restore of user data and the OS system files that is included with the machine!

    – Opening up many regional repair facilities or extend existing onsite support provider arrangements and provide same day or next day guaranteed repair or replacment on all machines within warranty.

    – Do whatever you have to so that anyone thinking of buying a Dell knows if something goes wrong in the warranty period, they will get it fixed or have a replacement in a couple of days.

  25. To Steve’s point.  What was the point of Scoble blogging if it wasn’t the big guy?  Sounds like a confused point to me.  Like what I see and glad to know Dell has decided to open up and become more transparent.  Guess the folks in Round Rock can see the world past all that construction outside their campus.

  26. I think this is a brilliant idea by you guys. As you know the blogsphere has Dell on the lashing post but by starting this blog you can combat the nay sayers by finding out what their problems are. Very well done!

  27. I still don’t care for your website because you make people log in just to download drivers. Additionally the site is far from logical as before you can even select a product you need to select home, small business, etc. Why don’t you just show me the different products and I’ll decide if I want to use it at my office or my house.

  28. Here’s a question – Dell.com – like all the other major PC companies, has these links on it’s homepage – "Solutions for Home & Home office, Small business, Medium business, Large business, etc.."

    Does this make sense?

    Why is this relevant to customers. If I want a great PC at a great price, why does it matter whether I’m using it for my house, my small business, or my large business?

    I always wonder, "Hmmmm, are they giving price breaks to big businesses (or home users)? Do they feature the cutting edge PCs only for big business?" I wonder if I can get a better deal in one of the other "solutions" sections.

    These links have been deprecated on Dell.com in favor of more generic categories – "Notebooks, Desktops, Servers, etc…" – which I think is a good thing. But I wonder if their continued existence is merely a reflection of the way Dell is internally organized.

  29. WOW! I know Jeff Jarvis gives you guys a hard time but I think this is a great start.

    To combat the poster above, I decided to see if I could find the drivers for the Dell I’m using right now. It took me about 10 seconds. I like the new homepage interface.

    The only problem I encountered was, after I chose my system (Precision 470), I had to click "Find Downloads" – Why? Why not just list the components as you normally would see them AFTER clicking Find Downloads?

    There is some good information in this blog and you continue to ask opinions of your readers. I say keep on keeping on.

    I would, however, advertise this just a -bit- more. Don’t be scared of promoting a new blog–it will only encourage you to keep writing 🙂

  30. Wow….So many comments to the point of insipid pontification!!!  How will you Dell Guys be able to read through all these blogs to formulate anything useful to give back to your customers?  It seems like you will have to hire a bunch of guys to read through these things to come up with something.  

    Since you know the biggest problem is customer service and most customer’s clearly care about technical support, have you tried analyzing your esupport boards?  There are ton of issues there that if addressed would go a long ways to improving your image.  Otherwise, all this is lip service or as I stated earlier, insipid pontification.

  31. Great feedback everyone. Looking forward to your suggestions on how we can continue to improve the online experience – the comments here are a good start and I hope the dialogue will continue.

    I can not promise that we will fix everything that you may believe is wrong with dell.com, nor will we be able to make obvious changes overnight. But know that we are listening and are focused on making the site easier to use and at the end of the day, better. We have put forth an aggressive plan to do this – and I will be asking for your feedback along the way if you believe we are making progress.

    Thanks for helping us improve.

  32. What the heck is this drivel?  This has to be the worst attempt at a corporate blog I’ve seen in a while, it provides no information, no value and is in no way entertaining or compelling.  No comments from M. Dell, no comments on things that are going on etc.  


  33. It’s easy to see why everything is so cumbersome-

    the blog "Un-concreting the Cow Path" is a cafeteria style mess of jargon……..

  34. such a boring blog… you should concentrate on making better PC’s than writing infomercials…

  35. Very good point about the usability of dell.com. I find it very hard to use for normal users. They don’t get an advice about what they need. Visitors have to click and make decisions before they know what they want. That is a great way to get lost on a website.

    Some free advice 😉 :

    – make a choice for dell.com and make it exclusive for business-users or private-users

    – immediately give visitors a few options based on populair systems and present a check list for visitors who are non-technical

    – once you have them seduced to tell their wishes, give them the option to chat with a salesperson

    – build all pages of the site with as less options and links as possible

    PS This blog is a great idea. It’s very nice to hear from people behind the big computer company. I’m very curious about the way it develops.

  36. Andy B.:

    Thanks for the feedback.  We didn’t want to go out and advertise the blog like a new product. Instead, we opted to launch it and let folks in the blogosphere take it from there.  You guys are good—took less than 24 hours.

    We do want to hear the topics you’re interested in, and that’s the purpose for the Suggestion Box (near the bottom of the panel on the right hand side of this blog).

  37. About time. Dell.com need a serious makeover. I don’t like looking for systems based on the size of my business. That worked fine ten years ago when computing power was somewhat defined by enterprise scale and IT strategy. Make it easy for me to define systems by my work profile and give me more guidance on what technologies could benefit me more than others. If I’m building it, I’m then likely to buy more.

    Great to see you launch the blog.

  38. I think that if you have an entity lets say DESKTOPS and Subfolders like let’s say I don’t know um Solutions For Business and maybe Solutions For Home. Clearly the Subfolders are Filters from the Full collection. So my question would be this. Why block me from entering the Desktops Folder why must I go down into one of the subfolders. If you want to make things easy then don’t reinvent solutions to problems that were solved in the 1980’s or earlier. Absolutely no reason You can present equipment from the perspective of endless types of Filters. Solutions for people who like Pink Cases for use in Busines on Saturdays For all I care but let me enter anywhere in the path I choose. By hard designing limitations into the experience one thing is certain. You’ll be doing a major remake again and again.

  39. Good start, keep it going. There should certainly be discussion about the way that the website flows or doesn’t in most cases. What’s the point of saved items as opposed to the basket for instance? Why can’t I log in to Premier pages and buy Dimensions? Why can’t I simply build up any box from scratch and then let the configurator tell me what special offers are available for machines that are close matches?

    Finally, one minor point, isn’t it normal for people to post their e-mail (hidden) so that PMs can be sent back to them if necessary?

  40. It’s great unless your paranoid like my dad and go around with javascript disabled. Makes it rather hard to see those popup menus.

  41. Let me start by saying I’ve bought six Dell computers for "personal" use from the Small Business site on dell.com in the past 2-6 years, and I’ve had at least one computer at home since 1979. While one of those computers acts as a music/photo server in our living room (it’s a low end Optiplex), and my family all have used computers extensively, every one I’ve personally used I’ve made money with — they pay for themselves.

    So why do I buy from Small Business rather than Home/Home Office? Two reasons. The first being price — on all six of those systems I’ve saved $100-$300 on the Small Business site. Even when my employer offered the EPP for Dell, the Small Business price beat the EPP price, every time! The second being selection — it’s easier to get the configuration and features I want. And I have a sneaking suspicion that support is better as well — at least I’ve had exemplary service from Dell the few times I’ve needed it.

    Recently Dell made a change, for the worse IMHO, by offering completely different systems on the two sites. It really has me locked into Small Business. I don’t see how true "Home Office" users would be happy with the Home site that now divides desktops into three categories: Gamers, Multimedia, and Bargain Basement? I do programming, simulations (electronics), 2D graphics, and low performance chores. No 3D. No "multimedia".  I can find what I want in the Dimension  9150 or Precision 380 (I got one of these at work), but neither of these lines appears on the Home Office site.

  42. I don’t see how this blog will make a bit of difference.  People have been unhappy with your support, website, etc. for years.  I can’t imagine that you were so out of touch that you just figured this out since launching this site.  Save the responses it won’t make a bit of difference to Dell.  Just buy your computers from someone else.

  43. The front page of dell.com doesn’t work well in Safari. The alignments of the mouseover text are all out of whack, and as you mouse over the 6 big icons you get weird "leftovers."

    Oh well. It’s only 2006. I can see how a multi-billion-dollar company might not have resources to test their front page in all major browsers. [end sarcasm]

    Yes, I’m being very hard on you. The truth is, this is totally inexcusable. There are fifty kajillion ways to do mouseover text that works in all browsers. THIS IS NOT HARD. IT IS A SOLVED PROBLEM WITH MANY SOLUTIONS FREELY AVAILABLE. It speaks volumes that you’re having this trouble… it’s almost as if you went out of your way to find a solution that *didn’t* work. And then followed that up by not doing a speck of testing.

    Also, you still sell computers, right? So maybe it would be appropriate to have the word ‘monitors’ or ‘displays’ on the front page somewhere? Possibly above ‘TVs’?

  44. How about bringing the customer service back to the United States.  After spending over an hour on the phone with some Indian dude named Tom I’m pretty upset with Dell. A few years ago I would tell anyone to buy a Dell.  Now, I’m not sure I would.  

    Bring back the customer service and quality Dell is known for and you will continue to soar and beat the competition.  Keep going like you are now and you can expect things to drop drop drop.

  45. Good: You have a blog at last.

    Bad: Most of the posts so far have been neither interesting, nor insightful. A good corporate blog shows what goes on behind the scenes at the company and also allows your customers to give you feedback — which should be heeded and not dismissed as being "not constructive" (as you dismissed the feedback from Steve Rubel, for instance).

    Good: Actual Dell staffers are contrbuting to the blog, part 1.

    Bad: The main Dell staffer that we want to hear from is Michael Dell himself. I know he must be hella busy counting his billions, but still, a word or two from Mr. Dell would be nice.

    Good: Actual Dell staffers are contrbuting to the blog, part 2.

    Bad: A lot of what they are saying is gobbledegook: "Concreting the cow-path"??? What on earth…?

    Good: Actual Dell staffers are contrbuting to the blog, part 3.

    Bad: We don’t more brochure-speak, or spin. We want to hear about new products, but we don’t want to be sold on them. We want to hear why customer service is so bad nowadays, and more importantly, what Dell intends to do about it. And what about those incidents of laptops bursting into flame? What’re you gonna do about that, huh?

    Good: The first step into the blogosphere has been taken.

    Even better: The chances of the blog getting more readable and more interesting are very good.

    I will keep on reading and I will keep hoping that you continue to improve. Good luck, Dell.

  46. I have been constantly frustrated by the fact that our corporate webpage on the premier.dell.com website is not updated dynamically. Pricing remains static unless we request updated pricing from our sales representative. Now, this isn’t a huge deal but as the months drag on it becomes frustrating when you must explain why the company is paying more for a flat panel monitor than Joe Customer who doesn’t have "a relationship" with Dell.

    I understand why in some cases we pay a premium — you don’t want Dell updating models every two seconds with new hardware that will cause issues when it comes time to put the software image onto the boxes.


  47. Hey Manish,

    Great to see Dell making this effort, I think it will go a long way towards making the brand more accessible. The good comes with the not-so-good. 😎

    Have a great day!

    Charlie Nichols

  48. >>Lionel Menchaca, Digital Media Manager said:

    >>Louis, sorry to hear about your ongoing issues with your monitor >>and your Axim.  Please visit the Outstanding Issues page, where a >>support agent can assist you.

    Not good enough Mr. Menchaca.  In fact, your post underlines the problem with customer support.  Mr. Duran isn’t looking for direction, he’s looking for a solution to his problem.  YOU should should fix his problem, not just direct him, then wash your hands of it.  It may well not be your job to fix problems of this nature, but it isn’t Mr. Duran’s either.  

  49. Kerry K,  Appreciate your feedback.  Commenters, such as Louis, who do not leave their contact info are best served by using the options listed at the Contact Us page.  Louis, if you prefer, you may contact me via e-mail.  Thanks.

  50. Let’s give this a shot…..everyone can continue to rag and say little to late etc…..

    But what if we give them a chance……

    And to y’all at Dell, <wink>  this is "our last dance….., last chance for romance….or however that song goes ok…..????"

    I may be naive (sp) by posting this, I am an optimist and a Texas Gal!  Read what these people are saying and let’s rock and roll!

    I have actually had the best luck in the forums, from other people helping me.  

    I am going to be watching you you Dell guys, don’t let me down y’all, because I also happen to be in Austin Texas!!!!

    All of us on this blog are making an investment here, giving you a chance.

  51. We are a UK based IT support organisation that focus on servicing the SME sector.

    We really like the Dell direct model, Dell sell the boxes and provide hardware support while we provide expert line of business and infrastructure software support services.

    We create somewhere between 250 and 500 baskets a year for clients to order directly from Dell.  Our normally process is to create a basket, email it to the Dell business sales team, review that final specification of the quote and then forward it to the customer who places the order directly with Dell.

    We have spent some years refining this process and it revolved around a critical part of the process for us which is that we must ensure the client is ordering the correct equipment.

    Once the hardware arrives with the client we provide our value added engineering services to integrate it within the client’s environment.

    Recently the Dell website in the UK has changed such that we can’t save baskets without an email address.  Initially we viewed this as a bit of extra pain to the process, but even so we have tried changing our process to accommodate this new requirement.

    However we have subsequently discovered that we need to register an address for every active basket because the sales team are unable to turn round the baskets quicker that we create them.

    Frankly in my view Dell have a long way to go to support our business model i.e. one that entirely supports Dells direct sales model in the SME market and in the last few weeks have taken a step backwards.

    The bottom line is that it is getting to be so much effort for us to pass you free leads to Dell that we may well be better off reverting to reselling HP kit.  

    This would mean that we would be:

    – displacing Dell at all our existing clients

    – no longer displacing HP with Dell at new clients.  

    Not to mention needing to get larger premises, increasing our stock insurance and adversely affecting our cash flow  – all costs that will get passed on to the customer.

    In short

    – we loose,

    – Dell loose,

    – and our customers loose.

    I hope there is something you can do to make it easy for us to give you new business, and I’m sure there are 100’s of other similar service business in the UK alone that would benefit from this too.

  52. LR Torgrimson: Thanks for the comment.  We’re getting closer to what you ask for.  Invite you to check out Michelle Pearcy’s post and associated vlog that shows how we’re working to streamline applications installed on new PCs.

  53. One thing I would like to see Dell start up again is shipping a pc without the bloatware if requested by the customer.

    If financial reasons dont allow this then there should be a icon on the the desktop to De-Bloat my pc one click and all the spyware and garbage gone!

    There is a private utillity called the Dell De-Crapifier which does this for notebooks but why not have this as an option when buying a new pc?

  54. Lionel thanks for responding.

    I just re-ordered a XPS 410 system yesterday. I specifically asked the sales rep it there was any way for them to just do a simple bare bones install of XP. I was told there was no way to do that and was not offered a mimimum install at all.

    Is this particular XPS system not in the loop? I didnt see  where there was any list when i clicked on the links I was taken to the sales page.

  55. This is really good that you are trying to put more effort in your company and everything that you are doing for people around the round!! Thanks…

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