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Dell: Customer Rebirth?

by on July 18, 2010

In a consumer tech world dominated by Apple and Google, Dell has consistently struggled to re-emerge as a leader in technology.  Dell, who once enjoyed customer loyalty that rivaled Apple, saw its fortunes disappear over the last few years with increased competition and its own focus on corporate sales and short-term profit.

One of Dell’s many strategies to once-again become a player in the technology world includes its investment in the web experience.  Since its epic collapse in customer service in 2005, Dell has re-focused its efforts on supporting customers on Dell Support Forum; built the Direct2Dell (D2D) corporate blog; involved customers and employees alike in the product and process innovation on Ideastorm and its own Employee Storm; used social media outlets such as @DellOutlet on Twitter; and finally, created communities and interest around social experiences on Dell Digital Nomad, Dell Take Your Own Path and Dell Go Green. In early 2010, Dell invested over $100M to boost its online experience for customers, hoping to win back some loyalty among its previous customers.

To bolster this initiative, Dell started Direct2Dell Chinese, the first corporate blog in Chinese in the computer industry.  It quickly became an invaluable tool for Dell to listen and engage with their Chinese customers.  This was also the strategy in its recent launch of Direct2Dell India.

“The Direct2Dell India blog is an initiative to better serve our customers in India. It is a platform to not only help them stay informed on Dell related news, but also to join in on the conversation. As a consumer-centric organization, we value our customers’ thoughts and opinions. We endeavor to reach out to them, whether an individual, a small business owner or a large enterprise. Through this blog, we plan to engage customers in conversation and carry forward our customer service values from the offline world and into the online domain.”  -Dell Spokesman

D2D India is Dell’s latest commitment to its customers.  As part of D2D India, Dell also added focus on tomorrow’s customers – the youth, with Dell YouthConnect.  YouthConnect reaches out to young Internet users and attempts to establish a relationship with these users early on, providing support for education and digital inclusion initiatives that are essential in ensuring digital success for the next generation.  Combined with YouthConnect, D2D India contains multiple platforms to encourage customer engagement while offering customers complete corporate information on Dell and how the company is assisting the country in its digital endeavors.

Social media and networking have been the talk of the town lately in India.  Recently a 2010 survey conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India’s Social Development Foundation found that 84% of Indian employees who have access to the world wide web are showing symptoms of Internet addiction.  They spend more time that normal online, and show signs of irritability when they are interrupted from surfing, concludes the study.  What’s more surprising is the companies that are attempting to restrict Internet access in the workplace.  In India, 60% of companies deny their employees full access to social networking sites.  And only 40% of employees say they have full access to the Internet.  However, 77% of employees who have an Orkut account access them at work – either bypassing firewalls or using smartphones.  Dell representatives state, “where there’s a will…there’s a way.”

Recognizing the growing angst between employees and corporates in India, Dell has sought to reach out to educate the youth – via YouthConnect – on the proper uses of the Internet and how to be successful throughout life using social media/networking responsibly.  Their attempts at re-connecting with their customers in India – as well as globally – have been valiant.  However, they have much to do to continue this outreach in order to compete with Apple India or Google India.

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From → India

4 Comments
  1. Great effort on Dell’s part with catching up to Apple’s genius marketing 🙂
    I’m curious to see where the future takes us as the children of technology.

  2. It’s great that Dell recognized a good potential growth market for them. A win-win for the company and the country.

  3. I really liked this post and the way that you setup how you were going to focus on Dell. By sharing initially all the things that have happened with the Dell brand in the social media world and some of their efforts, you successfully set up the story that you were going to tell about how Dell is now globalizing their efforts through their efforts in China and now in India as well. The stats and links that you used supported your point well, though in general as I shared with a few of your classmates, if you can put a bit more context into the words that you are linking from – it makes it a bit easier for the reader to know where you are taking them if they happen to click the link. The only thing that confused me a bit with your post was the last line where you note that Dell “have much to do to continue this outreach in order to compete with Apple India or Google India.” Though those companies may be doing better financially in the Indian market, it is not clear whether they are doing all of the social engagement that you found Dell doing and starting to do in India. Are they further ahead in this respect? If so, your conclusion makes sense, but we need more justification and explanation for why you feel they are setting the example that Dell needs to follow. As it is, it didn’t connect with your overall post and the points you made about the progress that Dell is making. That small point aside, this was a well researched and written post and enough for full marks this week. (5 – 1 for late post = 4)

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