People who have been following Dell's progression in social media know that we are in the midst of transitioning from a centralized team that carried out all social media efforts to a more decentralized hub and spoke model. It's really about scaling social media. For us to scale our efforts, we need to make social media a core part of Dell's business functions. In Dell's case, it's clear that providing support for our customers in the digital realm is one of the most vital aspects of our overall social media strategy.
The image above is one that I’ve discussed for a while. The Customer Service piece (highlighted in blue) is the part I want to focus on today. We are in the midst of growing that team, which is part of members from our Technical Support and Customer Care organizations. Overall, they are responsible for replying to requests for service in a variety of places, from our own sites like the community forum and Direct2Dell. But they also respond to third-party forums and blogs, and help support customers in specific social networks. Two of the most prevalent social networks we’re actively engaging with customers in are in Facebook and Twitter. That’s where I’ll focus the rest of this post.
Back in March, we rolled out a bit of an experiment. We added a widget on our Dell Consumer Facebook page that allowed a customer to reach out to Dell Support from within Facebook.
Clicking on the widget automatically walks customers through a simple form (see below) that makes it easy for customers request support from Dell. Many customers within Facebook like the idea when we rolled it out. We gained traction slowly at first and then moved to make it a little more visible by adding a Support tab on the Facebook page.
In that Support section of our Facebook page, we pull in the latest Dell Community Forum threads…and have links to some of the most viewed pages on support.dell.com.
This Support tab in Facebook on all of our English pages. We’ve rolled it out on most Spanish pages and have plans to add it in more languages next quarter. Since we’ve added the widget in Facebook, about 1,500 customers have reached out to us there.
Twitter is the other part I wanted to call out today. Last month at TWTRCON 2010, @StefanieatDell outlined the four ways Dell uses Twitter to connect with our customers: to inform, sell, engage and support. Many folks in the blogosphere of focused on the results of our sales on Twitter, but to me, that's less important than support.
Supporting our customers in Twitter is something we've been doing for a while, primarily through individuals like @ChrisBatDell, @BillatDell and many others In May, we took steps to formalize that process. That's when we rolled out a centralized account with the express purpose of providing support: @DellCares. Since we piloted the effort back in May, we’ve grown the team to the point where we now have 24/7 global coverage in English. We’re ramping up in the Spanish language, and like Facebook, we have plans to roll out support in additional languages beginning next quarter. The team has steadily gained traction, to where it now has almost 2,500 followers. More importantly, the @DellCares team has directly supported 1,800 customers via Twitter.
We are measuring many aspects of this outreach in Twitter and Facebook. The initial results are promising: roughly 2/3 of the Dell customers we’ve helped claim a positive customer experience with Dell after out support interaction, and feedback from other customers has been very positive. Still, our goal here is not to replace traditional support methods. Instead, our goal is to be there for customers who wish to get support from us through social media.