Happy birthday – to Dell

Dell’s blog is a year old. Man, time flies when they’re having fun. I’ve written before about how Dell is changing (and I hope I’ll be writing about it again soon when I get to do a magazine piece). So now I’ll just congratulate Dell blogger Lionel Menchaca et al for an impressive job of diving into the fire and coming out cool. True to form, Lionel openly shares some self-critical lessons other companies would be wise to heed:

* Customers really are in control–and it’s okay. I think more companies are starting to acknowledge this, but it’s a concept that scares the heck out of them. I’m willing to bet that this is still a key reason less than 10% of Fortune 500 companies maintain a blog.

* Ignoring negative issues is not a viable strategy in the blogosphere. If you aren’t prepared to discuss negative issues head on and actually fix what’s causing the negative conversations, be ready to fail publicly. . . .

* Probably the best time to launch a blog is when things aren’t going so well. We started monitoring the blogosphere last year. At our worst point, almost 50% of the commentary was negative. That made it easy for us to decide to jump in. These negative conversations were happening with or without us, and it was pretty clear we had a better chance if we entered those negative discussions. Today, we’re seeing about 23% negative. While that’s moving in the right direction, there’s plenty of progress to be made.

* Sincere apologies are welcome if you learn from (and correct) your mistakes. Without both, you lose credibility fast. . . .

  • http://www.thefutureofnews.com Steve Boriss

    This page-one ad bruhaha is just another indicator of an industry that for decades has been acting on its own quirky thinking of what a newspaper should be, and stopped paying attention to the real perceptions, needs, and wants of its readers. The reverence with which they hold their news “products” (ouch, that probably hurt) does not match the real world views of their “customers” (now THAT was punching below the fold — we are “citizens,” not “customers”, remember?). (Steve Boriss, The Future of News)

  • http://www.thefutureofnews.com Steve Boriss

    Sorry, posted beneath wrong article. I’ll try again!

  • http://tomgrey.motime.com Tom Grey

    Keep watching Dell, Jeff — Dell is often watching you.

    Perhaps you could comment on Michael Dell’s recent note on the need for more calculated risk-taking: “The attitude was to go five for five. It needs to be 8 for 10″.

    I think this would be an excellent time to suggest good calculated risks for Dell to take.

  • http://dell-usional.blogspot.com/ Wen-Dell

    I am so impressed with the results of your postings regarding Dell’s Customer Service. I have just begun my own blog. Please feel free to take a look. I have more posts coming very soon. I have had a terrible experience all of which will be displayed very soon. My blog is: http://dell-usional.blogspot.com/

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  • Ed Newman

    Dell has gone the way of Detroit the only thing worse then their product is their customer service.

    We have 3 dells our 4th was a nightmare, we spent hours on the phone, tech was poor at best, they lost our laptop in transit and I end up with referb but I paid for a new lap top.

    I intend to tell everyone who will listen that Dell has lost their way, lost my lap top and lost me as a customer.

    I do realize they could care less but I’ll continue to spread the word.

  • Debbie

    I would like to express my dell hell. I ordered one of the new colored laptops in early June. Today is 20 Aug and still no laptop. I have had my color changed on me 3 times, I have spent hours on hold, I have been made many many promises in which zero have happened. I could go on and on. They are selling product that they do not have. Please if anyone has a way to get intouch with Michael Dell via usps, email, phone please let me know. Or if you have any suggestions please I’m open to anything as of right now. I can be reached via email dsfjsf@bellsouth.net. I would love to spread this to the world not to order colored laptops for they will never get one any time soon.

  • http://www.dell-m1330-info.com Ben

    I think using a Blog for such a big company as Dell is, is a perfect and very transparent way to communicate to people. Dealing with the prodcution problems they have with the m1330 shows that it is working.

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  • http://www.iheartdell.com Stefan

    I’ve been really impressed with Dell’s commitment to blogging. While I still think opportunities exist, Dell has really embraced their blog as a means for communicating with their customers. The downside is that the blog has been overrun with trolls. But I guess thats how it goes.