Bringing Dell Shoppers New Levels of Convenience


Every morning I go to my favorite coffee shop. I spend between 10 and 15 minutes waiting in line, ordering, paying, walking to the end of the counter and waiting again for my drink. 15 minutes a day is almost three days a year!

That’s a lot of time in an age when we increasingly expect new levels of convenience from retailers to make our lives easier. Advancements in technologies such as social, mobile and cloud have made almost anything possible. Even though these advancements and many others have increased customer loyalty by letting us engage on our terms, there still remains far too much friction in customers’ experiences.

diagram of customer journeyNow imagine if my coffee was just waiting for me? What used to take up to 15 minutes of my day now just takes 15 seconds? Continuous small tweaks and changes, not monolithic overhauls of the customer journey is all it takes to enable new levels of convenience. There are three things that we can do as retailers to bring these new levels of convenience: FIND patterns in data, MAKE technology invisible and CONNECT to the global network.

Today, I’m going to focus on the first, finding the patterns in the data, and will explore the other two in subsequent posts.

There are currently four zetabytes (four trillion gigabytes) of data on the planet, 90 percent of that data was generated in the last two years and the vast majority is connected to an IP address. Our information behavior is changing faster than the information systems, so how do we make sense of it? We need to invest in our information systems to find the patterns in the data.

Most online companies already analyze patterns from customers including past purchases, website visits, glace views and circles of personalization. But, what if that data could be integrated with a host of other data including web behavior, social media interaction and geographical locations? We could actually predict customers’ actions – their what, when, where and how.

Utilizing social media to identify patterns of customer behavior is one of the critical ways to achieve this level of personalization. Dell is a pioneer in the social media listening space and opened our Social Media Command Centre in 2010. We analyze real time data and feedback about Dell to identify trends and issues. The Social Media Command Centre has enabled us to respond to you more quickly. In fact we have a 99 percent Customer Satisfaction Resolution Rate – so we’re not only responding to you quickly, we’re getting you the answers you need. With smarter tools, we’ve been able to nearly double our reach.

And we’re not only using this tool internally. We’re also helping our enterprise customers, including companies like the Fortune 500 retailer, Staples, so they too can become more responsive to your needs. Staples wanted a better solution to sift through the over 150,000 monthly social media posts about their brand to find relevant data from their customers. Staples hired Dell Services as a managed service to oversee all of the data collection, tagging and analysis and deliver useful intelligence.  Through our social media listening we have enabled Staples to reduce the social data noise by 75 percent, amplify the customers’ voice in day-to-day decisions and improve their responsiveness and offerings.

So, as you can see finding the patterns in data, such as social media, is crucial to the future of commerce. What do you think? Are you intrigued by the new levels of convenience it will bring? Let me know in the comments below!

Be sure to come back for my next blog post in this series where I will focus on how making technology invisible enables new levels of convenience by enabling the consumer to focus on their commerce experience rather than the technology.

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3 thoughts on “Bringing Dell Shoppers New Levels of Convenience

  1. "Dell is a pioneer in the social media listening"  "We analyze real time data and feedback about Dell to identify trends and issues" "What do you think?"

    Thanks for the invitation to comment. When Dell loses its caring about the people who buy their product–e.g. the lowly consumer, do they really "amplify the customer's' voice"? While innovation is lovely & ongoing is it hollow if it replaces solicitude, decency, and a reverence for customer care?  

    Data collection is enticing & Dell is wise to dangle the almost limitless brainstorming possibilities especially if one has purchased a computer that can get on the internet as none of my office's and family's new XPS 15 's can for several months now: When we purchased them we were told no one was authorized to discuss XPS & we had to buy Concierge at more cost. “We are not allowed to speak about the XPS”  and “There is no workforce for XPS. You must purchase Premier or Concierge Tech help for any questions.”  and  “Our help department does not extend to the XPS."  

    Even buying concierge which had no luck & giving up and trying to cancel the concierge bills–it worries me your head is on faster coffee readiness and not why a customer is endlessly routed between billing then concierge then billing for hours and days at a time. 15 minutes for coffee I would keep. I have logged over 12 hours just trying to a service. 30 hours trying to make a computer cough up internet.

    A company should be sure the details are good before they start building into the sky…. If those who are paying 2000 dollars each of many computers they buy at their office are sad or feel neglected, your posts sound a bit disinterested:

     You try to cancel useless concierge– Always routed to billing “We can’t cancel it-you have talk to Concierge” Tech Concierge could not cancel it “You have to talk to billing”

    "Improved responsiveness"?

    I spent hours being shuttled back and forth till someone would always just hang up.

    The last time I called back and was handed to  concierge service and the guy recognized me and spoke angrily. “Why do you keep calling us!? We cannot fix your bill! Talk to billing!”  I explained billing kept throwing me back at  concierge and I was pretty helpless in all this. He pounced back. “Well, then hang up on them. But stop interrupting our work!”  

    Am I intrigued as you describe?

    I would be more intrigued by honesty. This is, after all, the new brand of service and what possible gain could there be in being seen as decent, maybe tough but not rapturously unfair?

    Data is in as you report,  and it seems this data to has won out.

    Consumers may be willing to be treated with wanton abuse if the end product is good enough. You will have these numbers already and made that decision.

    That theory would go something like “People are pigs to be kicked around but, if the slop is good enough, they still let us slice up their cash and pay through the nose for the privilege.”

    If that is your business model and no one rebels I can't blame you for reaching higher for bigger companies like Staples who offer bigger money

    But tripping over your blog about how innovative, deep thinking, customer caring Dell strives to is just too painful, especially as I reflect that you really were all that once.

    I think it is fine to wish most about the bottom line in your business—heck, it is why you are there at all in your line of work. Forlornly and foolishly I imagined you look also at customer relations which is be in your long term self interest in the end.

    Somehow, I wish there was a way it was profitable for companies like Dell to hire problem solvers into their phone lines. I have spoken to over 300 people as I idly wrote down their badge numbers. Everyone who passed me on. But that might require paying actual money and there goes that bottom line again

    I called Dell today too. They told me I don’t own any XPS 15,'s odd I thought…then they flipped me over on the phone before I could blink. It was sales: someone tried to sell me another XPS 15–and a special warranty too…

    Somehow, though I believe I have addressed your topic, you'll find a way to delete this comment I think which is sad. Dell has been a great company. These are issues I would love to hear you address. Fixable, pernicious for all of us who work everywhere–and you are articulate, bright, and experienced. And you have courage. I would love your perspective. But I am a realist too.

    Marybeth Lambe MD FAAFP

  2. Hi Marybeth – I've reached out via private message so you can securely give me your account information and preferred contact method for further assistance. ~LPT

  3. This is a thank you response to my comments above. (This comment did not post? Only the cranky one did…LOL)

    I want report how Dell has kindly reached out immediately three times in response to my cranky complaints from comments above (& oddly, the duplicated comments below) Dell also had the courage & integrity to actually publicly place my rough comments w/o editing. I had written about frustrations over an unfixed computer, & trying to understand the balance of progress & innovation versus obligation/ engagement with the small market consumer  

    My small problem of a broken computer is not fixed yet but that may speak more to my crazy work schedule.

    Dell has reached out 3 times in a week.

    Anyone in such a situation would agree it is not about the broken computer sitting sadly in the back of a closet. The querulous comments were about finding ways to value the pocket change of small human connections, individual customer relations, as wearying as we may be. And even when larger, more lucrative links arise.

    Thank you Dell for their courtesy in this. The effort is the deep decency; less about my own trivial need to get a network functioning.

    This blog was fun to read & your delight in both brainstorming & true solution about how one might advance with technology. Brainstorming is transformative; is revolution without chaos. Ideas put forward without prejudice; the process is a liberating gift. Dell shows its capacity to act on these ideas–requires a steadfastness, inner vision, pluck, audacity, & good nerves.

    But I am also glad, you have retained heart. More than glad: I am humbled & touched to learn Dell vouchsafes their duty toward small customers. It is an unrewarding task since, mathematically speaking, only the faintly distraught like me communicate.

    My job, or ethical duty, then was to write again–even though I am punishing you twice–now with a second dreadfully long post. I do not think people read here maybe so I hope someone can forward this to Mr Paul Walsh so he knows that Dell responded & I am not a complete thoughtless ingrate.  

    He is welcome to my overly quiet XPS 15. I would take good humane people, over worry about machinery, any day.

    I want to offer gratitude & indebtedness & I am obliged at being shown how wrong I was. Thank you for being Dell–in the very best way.

    –Marybeth Lambe MD

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