Dell CAP Canada - A day of listening, collaboration, and discussion hosted by Dell
David Miketinac As always we encourage all of you to reach out if there is anything that I can ever do. I also want to introduce Phil Bryant, good morning. Phil also one of the executives here at Dell. A little bit of background and then I’ll let Phil give a little bit background on himself. I’m a seventeen-year Dell veteran. By the way, I currently live in Canada, I work here in Toronto. I’ ve been traveling over the last six months all over your beautiful country and consider myself in a lot of ways Canadian. Little known fact, I have a great grandfather that was a Canadian lumberjack, so my connection to Canada actually is also my bloodline. I’m really excited to be1 1 here and to introduce Phil Bryant. Phil Bryant I’m Phil Bryant, I’m the vice presidential manager for our retail business across North America, also responsible for Canada. I’ve been with Dell about twelve years, prior to that I worked for AT&T. In those twelve years I spent eight of that twelve years outside of Austin. I lived in Asia for six years and Europe for two years in various part of Dell business. I’ve been back in North America since about last, well about this time last year, I came back almost this week last year. So it’s good to be back on this side of the world. I appreciate you guys taking the time to come in and talk, talk to us this morning. You know we’ve done these things in three other countries, I guess it started in Germany I guess is where we did the first one and then the US and China, and Canada is the fourth one of these that we’ve done. So I really appreciate you taking the time to1 2 come in and speak with us. David Miketinac I currently run the small and medium business organization in Canada, which also has responsibility for the channel and previous to this position I spent three years building up channel in the US. Dell has been a company for 27 years. 27 years ago Michael Dell, in his dorm room in the University of Texas, had an idea how to go and market and put technology out there differently than it had been put out before. At the time it was just the PC and in 27 years a lot of changes happen and I think all of you in the room understand more than most that we’re at an inflection point for technology overall. But the foundation of what Michael formed the company 27 years ago and where we are right now, the principles of what we do are exactly the same. And part of those principles, actually are the reason why all of you are here today. The voice of the customer is critical to what we do at Dell. And I will tell you in my 17 years, traveling all around the globe, US, Canada, is that one of the things that I think makes Dell unique are forums just like this. So today we’re going to talk a lot about a lot of things. What I would ask from each of you is to tell us the things that Dell does really well. I think because it puts a nice stamp on the hard work that goes into every day and the things that are the cornerstones of our business. But I think what is much more helpful if you could tell us about the things that we don’t do well in your experience. Because there is an old adage that the only way that human beings really learn is through mistakes, and I can tell you that having come from a business where building a channel at Dell was something a lot of people didn’t believe we could really do. I think that a lot of people in the room could say that Dell hasn’t been incredibly successful in the channel yet. There may be others that may say that Dell is seeing a lot of success in the channel. I think the reason why is because we want to know what we are doing right and wrong. Three years ago, I went to the first ever channel session with Dell where we were one of the sponsors. When my boss Greg Davis got up to speak, about half of the room got up and left. When we went to the breakout sessions and I was there, doing my presentation and my brown bag, half of the people got up and left and the ones that stayed talked about how Dell was not really committed to the channel. Fast forward 2 ½ years my last channel event when I was in Boston, Dell won the lion’s share of awards and the gentleman that was from one of the other sponsors said, “the big gorilla in the room is sitting over there at table four, when it comes to the channel and small media business. The small and medium business was actually sitting at table 4.” There’s a lot more we can learn, but we can’t learn without your feedback. So my own request today is- let us happen. Give us what we are not doing, because only through Dell’s failures can we actually learn how to succeed. I know all of your time is incredibly important to you, and I will thank all of you up front for this investment, because that’ s what it really is. It’s an investment. You will help Dell deliver that technology that helps customers and partners grow and thrive. I thank you in advance for your contributions today and1 1 would invite you to tell us what we could do better. Thank you.
Mark Evans So, my name is Mark Evans and I’m the moderator for today’s event. My role is to learn, which is a really experience for me, because I haven’t been involved in this kind of format before. I’m interested in learning about the Dell approach and some of the new products, the 14Z laptop looks pretty sexy, so I’m going to take that for a spin later on today. My role for today is to moderate the conversations, get everybody involved and to make everyone feel comfortable and to get as much value out of the day as possible. A few housekeeping notes before we get started. One is, you all received a copy of the guidelines, and essentially if you boil it down, you have to be transparent and clear with the fact that you have been invited by Dell to be a guest. This is a very sort of open and transparent form and so page one- complete disclosure and terms of your participation and at the same time they are very happy you have actually traveled and made the investment to come here today, some people as far as Vancouver and Winnipeg and some people from Windsor and local people as well. As it’s mentioned this will be very open and honest and frank discussion. You know, I often find that some of the things that don’t help the most is when people tell you how great you are and how wonderful you do and everything’s great, because you don’t learn anything. As much as Dell wasn’t to hear nice things about them, its also important to hear things that people don’t like, because that’s the way that the organization will move forward and integrate improvements to their products and the way they operate. Everything is on the record. So, if you want to blog or tweet about what you hear today, please feel free to do that and it’s been live streamed as well, so you can wave to the camera, just to the back, we’re live. Were having a little bit of technical difficulty right now with the Wi-Fi, but we’ll be up soon, they can join in in fifteen or twenty minutes. If you’re going to tweet or put this thing on Facebook the hashtag is #dellcapcanada. You might want to warn your followers that you will be tweeting a flurry of Dell focused tweets today, we hope you’ll be tweeting about a lot of things Dell today. One of the things that I want to make people aware is the fact that there are a lot of Dell executives in the room and if you want one on one interviews with any of them, they are happy to do so, so there will be a series of breaks throughout the day so you can corral anybody here and pull them aside. If you do interview, just a pen and paper interview, however you want to do that. You will also notice that there are a number of Dell people in the room as well. Some of them are participating and some of them are simply taking notes and learning and feel free to introduce yourselves and engage in conversation about what they are doing and more important what you are doing as well, because I think they want to learn more about the people in the room. At this point I think I want to ask some of the Dell customers and some of the Dell people in the room to introduce themselves, perhaps tell people where they are from, what they hope to get out of the day and when you do do that, please give people your Twitter user name so if people want to follow you or just want to comment on Twitter they can1 2 do so…who wants to be the first volunteer? Brad Penner Hi, I’m Brad Penner, and I manage the consumer call centres that we have in our Canadian consumer business, our English and our French teams, and I am located actually in our national office and have been in this role for three years, but I grew up in the southern Canadian province of Minnesota <laughs> I am well versed in this weather. I love my job in Canada, I love coming up here. It’s a great country, a great city. I’m just really excited to be a part of this and I’ve never been involved in an event like this before and I’m really interested in hearing about1 1 your experiences with our sales teams, about being a consumer and what we can do to improve. Tara Lemieux Hi, I’m Tara. I manage consumer marketing communications. I’m really excited to be here. I’ ve been at Dell for about 10 years now. On the small medium business side as well as the consumer side. I am just very excited to hear feedback on both sides of the fence and if anyone wants to chat during the break, please come find me. I’d love to hear personal from you, looking1 1 forward to it. David Bohl I’m David Bohl, and I’m from the online support website and I guess I’m really excited to understand what we can do better to provide you kind of those tools that make you successful in trouble shooting your issue as quickly as possible, that’s really what I focus on. A lot of comment on what we do right and what we do wrong, for me whenever we do something wrong its best to contrast that with who did it right for you, what’s a similar experience you had. I’ll be1 2 on one of the panels later and I hope that can be a part of our conversation Suzanne Akleh Hi, I’m Suzanne and I’m with DFS Canada Dell, leasing and financing. I support all business segments, large corporate as well as small medium business and consumer. And I’m very excited to here today as well, and I want to hear what we do well and what we don’t do well and just like David said, I want to hear who is doing it better so I can help and what Tara said, I1 1 would love to talk in the break.
Sarah Richardson Hi, I’m Sarah, @sarahatdell on Twitter and I help manage the CAP Days program, so I got to be a part of the very first event over two years ago. I get to help plan these great events but also think beyond that. How can we continue our relationships with you guys and our customers in other countries and I’m really interested to hear about how you want us to continue the relationship that we are starting to build today with you guys, ongoing via social, keeping you up to date with what we are doing with all our great products and really figure out how we can customize that relationship with you and not only you and your extended social communities. I’1 2 m excited to be a part of today. Maurice McFarlane Hello, and good morning everybody, my name is Maurice McFarlane, I am the enterprise brand manager for Canada, so servers, storage, and networking products, data center, roll up to me and I helped set up the product showcase today. I’ve been at Dell for 8 years in sales and now I’m in marketing. When I was in sales I was in close touch with the costumers and now I’m in1 1 marketing. I’d love to hear any sort of feedback that comes out today and thank you. Janet Fabri I’m Janet Fabri. I handle corporate communications for all aspects in business in Canada. I want to thank all of you for being with us today. I can say without exception when invitations were extended that you responded very quickly, very positively, no matter what your point of view was coming into this. We’re here to listen, we’re here to learn and thank you so much for1 2 being with us. Anne Camden Hi, I’m Anne Camden, 13-year veteran at Dell, and I’m one of your panelists later today. I’ll be talking to you about product development. My particular area of expertise is more consumer desktops and laptops. I know a little bit about the small business products, enterprise, all him <laughs> and they’re my babies, okay? So, just like any parent wants to hear what their child is doing great and what their child can do better, that’s what I want to hear today, its helping help1 1 my children be better global citizens, okay? Thank you. David Gair Hi, good morning everyone, thanks for joining us here, my name is David Gair. I manage small media business marketing for Dell Canada. I’ve been with Dell for 12 years now. In marketing we tend to paint this glorious picture, of what we aspire to in terms of our solutions in products and it’s very important to see how we deliver against this, right? So, is our marketing matching the real experience, so that’s what we want to hear from you, as well our online experience so the purchase experience, the research is useful, what can we improve, so just curious where we1 2 can improve things, so thanks for joining us. Mike Agerbo My name is Mike Agerbo. I’m from Vancouver. I own a production agency out there called Blink Media, we do a lot of online video content work for a lot of big tech companies. I’m also a tech journalist; I produce a couple television shows here in Canada for the Business News Network and other broadcasters including TV shows called Get Connected and App TV as well. I’m excited to see what happens here because not only do I cover a lot of Dell stuff in my1 1 journalist hat, but we’re also a big Dell costumer at the agency as well. Nancy Polance My name is Nancy, I’m from Windsor, and my Twitter handle is @whispersinspire. I’m more so of a life style blogger and I’m here just to give my opinion and I have a lot of questions from Dell customers and people who have had experiences with Dell. I write for some online publications and manage an online community as well. I’m here and I’m excited to hear what1 2 everyone has to say. Thank you. Dick Weytze Hi, my name is Dick Weytze, until earlier this year I was with the Federal Government, providing service and support for users in one department within the government. I am interested really in just seeing what is coming along with Dell, I’ve been a very strong user, after three years with the company originally, I finally standardized on computers and it ended up being Dell, I’ve always been happy with them and I just wanted to see where they are going and1 1 you know, from now on. Shirley Freinkel I’m Shirley Freinkel and I am a software quality analyst. I’ve used Dell computers quite a lot in the last couple years, my family uses them at home, and I’ve just like to get out to hear about the1 2 new Dell technology.
Jason Duty Good morning everyone, I’m Jason Duty and my Twitter handle is @JasonDatDell but a more important Twitter handle for you to know is @dellcares. So I, along with David support organization but I should run our social media customer support business for Dell. So you’re on Twitter and you need help or you have friends and family that do, please let us know @dellcares and we’re glad to help. I would say also that like many of the other Dell participants, first thank you all for coming and being willing to share your feedback. Our ears will be open today and while David and I came to share what we’re doing in support and some changes that are being made, I think we are more interested in your feedback about what’s working and what’s not. Thanks again in advance for sharing that with us. This is my third CAP Days and I’m really excited to be here with you all and the couple of sessions I’ve attended so far have been really beneficial for me and I’ll share with you the first session we had in the US, we recently brought that team back together over this last summer and it was really exciting to bring them back in and be able to share with them some of the changes we had made based on the feedback and so please know that we treat these sessions very seriously and the feedback you give us we’ll take1 1 back in and see what changes we are going to make. Dave Perry Thank you for having us, my name is Dave Perry, @socialdave is my Twitter handle. I have actually use a lot of your competitor’s products over the years, I used to be with IBM for about five years, actually worked in Toronto. I’m now business director at a game developer in Montreal. We have been using your products for quite some time. I’ve only had a chance to work with Dell products for about three months now. I have a gaming blog, so I’m very interested in what you’re doing in the social media sphere how you’ve made that successful and how your seen and performing as a leader in that, and also a bit of a geek gamer, so you know,1 2 looked interested in all of your new products. Thanks. Lior Hershkovitz Good morning, my name is Lior Hershkovitz I guess so far I’m representing the financial services sector. I’ve been a Dell costumer since the mid 90’s. I basically bought three different Dell systems in the last year and a half, both for work and personal use. Overall I’m just here to share my experiences. I’m honored to be invited. I also run web blog, a website called Mortgage1 1 Economics, I’m just here to share my views so. Mark Graham Good morning everyone my name is Mark Graham and twenty years ago almost to the day I bought my first Dell computer, I was heading off to Queens University as an 18 year old and Dell had a great offering and I was just reflecting on that it’s been twenty years. Which one was it? Do you remember what it was? It was HUGE. <laughs> I think it cost me 3 grand in twenty year ago dollars and it lasted me until about my third or fourth year in university so it was a real workhorse. I have since moved on and become an entrepreneur, I own two businesses, one of which is called RightSleeve which is a promotional products company that is very interested in how technology has been able to allow us to stand out within a pretty traditional and mature industry and we have also started social software company called Common Sku, which is a social CRM platform for our industry, heavily involved and interested in cloud computing, how computers can really make workers day to days much more efficient and social and more interesting, and we were honored two years ago to be the Canadian recipient of the Dell SMB Excellence award, it was really neat I had a chance to go down and visit Michael Dell and told him that story and his computers were huge and he said, you know in China they like their boxes big, that’s what he said <laughs> That was interesting. Thanks very much for having me here1 2 today. Stuart R. Crawford Good morning everybody, my name is Stuart Crawford and I represent the channel. I work with channel partners across the globe, Canada, the US, Australia, the UK; we have clients all over the place. I ran an IT bar in Calgary Alberta for fifteen years, recently moved back to Toronto, missing my Leaf games on a regular occasion <laughs> I’m a big Leaf fan. We were a Dell partner long before an official program came up and I like to think we helped Dell get some traction when everyone beat them up, we’d wave the Dell flag and fly it very high. Thus we have a very strong relationship with, even today, with some of the channel people here in Canada. In my role today, I help IT bars and resellers go to market and how to position their businesses for success, so one of the parts is helping with building strong vendor relationships,1 1 so that’s why I’m here today to bring the voice of the channel to today’s event. Jody Arsenault Hi, I’m Jody my Twitter handle is @mommymomentblog, I am an online magazine for moms basically and a social media lover so I’m here to bring my readers and audience and their1 2 questions to you and to hear what you have to say to them. Thanks for having me.
Kathryn Lavallee I’m Kathryn Lavallee. I’m actually from Saskatchewan so this is quite the big trip for me <laughs>…and along with Nancy and Jody, I represent the mommy blogger contingency here and I’m really excited to hear about Dell’s technology, to share some ideas and especially to kind of see from the customer point of view that easy user, that type thing what Dell is doing to1 1 make the experience enjoyable so, thanks so much. Eric Vallillee Hi I’m Eric, my Twitter name is just Eric Vallillee I’m a student and earlier this year I started my own internet marketing company that’s already sort of grown to the point that where I did the website for Sheila Copps last month, who is running for the liberal presidency for Canada. So I’m doing quite well that way, but I’m here because I have some concerns about some of the products but I really like Dell, Dell was the first…from, shortly after that I tried Apple and with the exception of my phone, came right back to Dell a few months later, so I’m just excited to1 2 sort of share my views and learn more about Dell’s products. Joe Mallon Hi, I’m Joe Mallon. I’m a native of Toronto actually, and I was very glad to be invited today. I’ m a long time costumer to Dell going back to the late 90’s and yes they were big boxes back then <laughs> I apologize for the weather especially to those who came from southern climates. I’m also a long time Dell community forum member. I’m looking forward to seeing the1 1 products and giving some feedback and thank you. Bob Benedetti Hi, I’m Bob Benedetti. I’m the former TV broadcaster and executive producer. I’ve been both a Dell consumer, personally I preferred Dell over the years and in 1995, I started a weekly technology report of gadgets on CTV Montreal, and it was kind of new and in those days I had to fight for every second with management who thought people didn’t care about technology, but it was fun to start that, and I did that up until two years after I retired and I became mayor of the community where I live in Quebec, stopped doing it for a while and then when the mayor thing went away I thought what the heck try again so I started a blog called home technology Montreal, my Twitter handle is @hometechmtl and I’m loving what I’m doing. I publish every single day and it is a gamut of opinion to product reviews and just sometimes just funny little movies I pick up and stuff like that, it’s a crazy little blog so if you want to drop by sometime take a look at it it’s hometechntl.com. Eric and I happen to have a link, it’s funny in these rooms you’re always looking for a link. I worked many years ago with Janet. One of the comments I got from the followers on my blog when I asked for comments on Dell came from one of his clients, Julie. So you go somewhere, there’s always a link. I’m looking forward to this day; I hope to hear some answers to some of the questions that people raised to me when I asked for comments. I’ll also pass you on the good things they said. Whenever I hear, if I have suggestions I will feel free to offer them and I hope that even if one of my thoughts turns up1 2 someday down the road in helping Dell make a better product, I’d be happy.1 2 Melissa Lee Hi, I’m Melissa Lee, and I work for Cohn and Wolfe, the PR agency representing Dell Canada, so I’m here to listen to what you all have to say and I look forward to it. I’m also a Dell consumer on my personal time and my Twitter handle is @missy_lady. So I hope to be chatting1 1 with you in the future. Fiona Cassidy I’m Fiona Cassidy, I’m with Cohn and Wolfe and working with Janet, and we’re here to help out today, if you have any questions, or need help with taxis and that sort of thing, then we can help. We also want to just steer you in the direction of the video booth which is there to record any comments that you have, what your opinion is of Dell coming in, and at the end of the session, what might have changed, what you got out of the day. So if you don’t have a chance to1 2 participate in the group, feel free to go to the video booth over there. Hanif Thakor Morning everyone, my name is Hanif I am the laptop brand manager. I’ve been with Dell for about four years now, up to this point I am acting with the small medium business division, so I’ m very well versed with the latitude, precision, vostro laptops. Recently I went to the consumer division so I’m looking forward to getting your feedback on all of our laptops assortments, XPS, Inspiron and the assortment of our laptops here. Have a chance to look around, touch them, feel1 1 them, can’t wait to hear about them from you guys. Thank you. Bill Tyrrell Bill Tyrrell, consumer direct side of the business, I’ve been at Dell for twenty years. I’ve been in consumer, small business, corporate, public, all around the organization. Happy customers1 2 are the key to our success so were looking forward to what you have to say.
Selin Stancati I’m going to stand up because I’m a little on the short side. Selin Stancati. I’ve worked for Dell four and a half years, so with the tenure around the room, I’m a newbie. I’ve spend most of my time on the consumer side, just recently moved to small medium business, so I’m learning quite a bit. I am responsible for demand generation and media planning, so any questions. I’m interested in the bloggers, you can teach me a few things. I look forward to the feedback and1 1 chatting with you during the break. Thank you. Prashant Ramesh Morning everyone, my name is Prashant, I manage the consumer online business in Canada. I’ ve been at Dell for over seven years, I’ve been in the e-business for over thirteen years and you know similar to what Selin said, we get feedback every single day from our customers on dell. ca. When you hit dell.ca, I am responsible for your experience, up until you are researching, till you check out and after you check out, too. So the exciting thing being at being at Dell in my e- business years of experience is that we are really connected with our customers more so than any other company I’ve worked for in the e-business space. It’s exciting, so for over seven years dell.ca has gone through three huge overhauls, based on customer feedback, so we’re listening, we still have a lot of work to do. I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say,1 1 comments about your experience at dell.ca. Lazlo Molnar Hi everyone, my name is Lazlo. I’ve worked for Dell for about five years now. I had the pleasure of actually serving our social media program here at Dell, so on Facebook. com/dellcanada where I will be posting today and taking questions, as well as Twitter, Dell home sales today. I’m very happy to be here and look forward to the constructive criticism.1 2 Thank you. Mark Evans So, a couple of final housekeeping notes before we get into the rest of this session. The video booth is set up so that anytime throughout the day you want to make a comment, or you want to do a mini interview with a Dell executive, we want to capture your thoughts and your perceptions of the day, what you think of the day think what you got out of the day. I think that a lot of people have expectations and hopefully some of them will be met and maybe you’ll be delighted in many other ways in what you get out of the day. And finally, as you’ve noticed we’ ve got a graphic artist, Lisa and Diisa, who will be recording graphically all the conversations and themes today. Feel free to take pictures of her artwork and we’ll also be sending out a high res image of the final product so that you can maybe post it on blogs. I saw some of the previous artwork, some other CAP Days they really are spectacular and I think one of the things I am going to take away, is that I run a conference called Mesh and I really like this idea, you should give me your business cards. I think it’s a truly terrific way of sort of capturing what’s going on1 1 today, so thank you for that. Phil Bryant Yeah, I think just before we get into the main part of the agenda, the whole thing is designed to be a conversation so I think we promised no power point or anything like that for the whole day. We’ve got people here from as you saw multiple disciplines within Dell. We’ll conduct a series of forums as we go through the day and we’ll focus in on things like the sales process with Brad, tech support and customer care process, social media, blogging, product, all of the different disciplines and give you a chance to go through that and talk with the people who have big parts in those organizations here and run and manage the Canada business. So again we appreciate it, in the feedback here is what’s important and having a conversation is important and one of the great things about my job and you’ll probably see my pacing because I’m usually not sitting in a chair this much during the day, I’m usually out talking to customers, what I love is that I never have a conversation with a customer that I’m not surprised, no matter how well prepared I am, no matter how much I think I know the customer’s business, the customer really understands their business a lot better than I do. These conversations are the most meaningful. A couple years ago I went to Istanbul to meet with a large customer. I worked with the account team, I thought I knew everything we had done right and wrong with that account. I had gotten some fantastic feedback and we started going through some things and this customer was naming all these things that we had was in conversation in 2009, was naming all of these things that we have done wrong and I’m looking at the account team, I thought we had addressed every issue in Dell with every problem. And so I finally just asked the customer, “when did this happen” and he said 1991. It had been almost twenty years, right? That this customer had been dealing with Dell and customers have very long memories. When you do things right, it leaves a lasting impression and naturally your brand with a customer. So again, it’s all about getting the feedback and making sure we respond to it and deal with the issues we have. It’s like what Winston Churchill said- I need the feedback I just don’t always like hearing it. <laughs> So that’s what this is about here during the day, please speak up , speak freely and it should be a1 2 great day.
Mark Evans Before we get into the sessions one of the things may be you could give me some color on and the people in the room, is just sort of the reason Dell is doing CAP Days, and maybe some of the things that have come out of previous cap days because I think a lot of people are looking to see1 1 how their important and how their thoughts are going to be integrated in your going forward. Phil Bryant Again, CAP Days are a part of the ongoing dialogue we have with customers. Folks like Jason1 2 and others, how many conversations you guys have every day, Jason, with customers?11 2 Jason Duty For my team, we do a couple thousand a week.1 Phil Bryant Same thing for Brad on the sales side. You know at Dell we have always had a great legacy of listening which is one of the keys, and one of the great things about the direct relationship, is being able to get all of that feedback and then go and act on that feedback whether it is in product design, whether its improving how we service and support, whether its improving and how we treat our marketing, those kinds of things, we are constantly trying to sense what’s going1 2 on and make the changes in response to that. Mark Evans How do you pick the people in the room? There are some Dell fans, Mac users, and lots of iPhones. It’s interesting mix of people both geographically and in terms of the computers they1 1 use.1 Phil Bryant You don’t learn much if all you do is talk to people who like you a lot. Again, I love the praise, right, I love it when I call home and my wife says, “oh gee, Phil, you’re doing a great job.” <laughs> It’s just not always the most effective thing around the house, when all I want to hear is the praise and not the other things. Again, it’s a complicated environment right now. David, you talked about the changes in the industry in the 27 years, what about the changes in the industry in the last 27 months? We’ve had entire categories come and go in the last 27 months, so if you’re not constantly getting feedback and listening and trying to respond to that, you kind1 1 of miss the game. You miss on whole waves and trends in the industry. Mark Evans So at the end of the day, when we are all having cocktails and I come up to you and say how’d1 2 you define success today?1 Phil Bryant I just want to learn, I’d just want to hear more, I want to learn about things that we can do to go1 2 out and improve the business. Mark Evans So, we’ve got an agenda but it’s completely flexible, so if the conversations going really great, we’ll keep on talking. We’re not going to have to adhere to the timelines hard and fast. I think1 1 it sounds like we are ready to move to the next presentation.
David Miketinac Hey Mark, I want to make sure I touch on a couple things. We talked about why we are asking questions, why we are doing this. The one thing that 17 years being at the same company offers you, it offers you at least a perspective. I think Phil probably could comment and all of the Dell folks could comment in the room, our history and where we’ve gone and what we’ve done I’ll just bring up couple of things, today. If you take a look at mechanisms in which Dell gets feedback, this is a very big one. This is not the only one. There are surveys that go out at every time we purchase, there’s surveys that are called net promoter that we do almost monthly in most of the businesses. There’s one called Tell Dell where our employees tell us what we could do differently. There are internal blogs that we have. You know, one of the things I think our company is good at, clearly always could get better, we want data. We want to know. I think Phil will tell you having come from AT&T, and a lot of the folks in the room, Dell is a very data driven company. We want to know how we can be better. I think our presence in the community, our presence in the communities that we live, presence around the world- I think there’s this insatiable thirst for how could we be better. Michael wrote a book several years ago, direct to Dell and a few years ago Michael came out and said, the direct model is a business strategy, it’s not a religion and it was very empowering as a guy who was going in the channel to think about how we could meet the needs of our customers and different mechanisms, where the CEO of our company came out and said, we’re evolving. We change. We do things differently. Part of that difference is having open ears; think someone said that, our ears are open. I could give you a number of different examples of things that we do to listen. What I would say is my litmus test for if this session is successful or not is how long is the list of things we have to go fix. If it’s a short list I don’t know how successful we will be. If it’s a lengthy list, an actionable list, to me it will be a success. Because Phil will also tell you, every time you go and do a meeting with any Dell executive, the action list is always pretty substantial, it’s because of this1 2 insatiable thirst to be better, and a willingness to listen. This forum is about listening.
Mark Evans Alright, we are going to talk about customer support. Jason Duty and David Bohl are going to lead the presentation and I think given the fact that a key part of Dell’s approach to business is customer support, they have been formed on dell.com since 1996, a very engaged customer support team and obviously enthusiastic embrace of social media as a way to support customers. This is really part of the company’s DNA. I think as much as they do great jobs, they really do want to hear real life experiences and get your insights. Feel free to raise your hand or to speak up about things that you like, things that you don’t like, and the team will give you their input1 1 and where they are going and what they are doing. Jason Duty Great, and to follow onto what David was saying, I think that our culture at Dell is definitely being pleased but never satisfied, so this is at the heart of these sessions as well as to figure out how we could please you all <laughs> and figure out how we are never going to be satisfied. So I think David and I brought a few things to share with you today in terms of big improvement programs in the customer support space and by customer support I mean those things we traditionally talk about being technical support or customer service, I’m ready to share some of those things with you and then as I mention I’m really responsible for customer support in social media so I’m like to share a few things that the team is doing there, and tell you a little bit about my organization. I think David is going to do the same for e-support, the Dellsupport.com website, I’ll say we’re going to keep our words pretty short because again we are more interested1 2 in your feedback and what you have to say.1 I think in general across the customer support business there are a few big programs that we’re really counting on to drive change within the business and provide a better customer experience and frankly these programs have been developed because of feedback from folks like you. I’ll list off a few of these pretty quickly, and tell you what they’re all about, and definitely open to your feedback about them. One of them I’ll say is a program that we call CISS- Complex Issue Simple Solution and for a while at Dell we had trouble shooting processes that weren’t necessarily geared to the person talking to us on the phone. So someone who was a novice with computers and someone who was an IT professional, got treated the same way if you called into the queues for supporting the consumer and small business. Definitely not the right model, so with a CISS the idea there was we have these really complex issues and one of them is a blue screen of death as an example and if you’ve ever experienced one of those and had to talk to a technician whether at Dell or somewhere else, the steps to solve that problem can be pretty extensive, somewhat complicated and pretty darn time consuming and frustrating. We found that there is actually a better way to serve customers when they have that problem, and rather than put them through a number of hurdles, call us back a couple times to confirm something worked or didn’t work, we saw that despite how many actions we asked customers to take to trouble shoot, the end result was almost always the same thing. So what we’ve done is sort of erased some of those middle steps and immediately gotten to the solution, so today if you get the blue screen of death, it’s less likely we’ll be trouble shooting with you and more likely we’ll send you a hard drive with an image burned on it already, or in some cases a drive that allows you to restart your system and reimage it. So that’s an example of one program that’s happening at Dell and we’re hopeful it creates a better customer experience for folks that have to call us for support. There’s another program that I think is very interesting, we call it the first 60 days program. Through talking with customers like you and analyzing some of our call center date, we figured out that after customers buy a system, within the first sixty days they generally have a unique and fairly common set of problems that they call on us and ask questions about. So one of them, as an example, is software that is installed on their system. Whether it be an office software package or something else, we found that customers called us in the first couple of months about those software applications. So we said, how can we create a better experience around this. What we did was create a team that specializes in the first 60 days experience and is used to dealing with questions around software or other things. So we actually service customers with this unique support professionals that are familiar with these issues and actually help the customers pretty quickly. There’s a third program that we call one team, one goal, and this program is designed to reduce the number of times the customer of times the customer may be transferred at Dell, whose ever called Dell and been transferred between one group and another. It’s not very fun, it’s not fun with any company. We found that there are again a set of these common issues that typically got transferred around and it typically happens between these couple of teams, why don’t we just put these two teams together and allow them to solve everything. So that’s a solution that we started to implement and one we expect to continue going forward and we’re seeing some positive results from that as well. I’ll pause there a bit to1 2 get feedback or questions or comments you have around those few programs.
Mark Evans I think what you are looking for is real life customer experiences, for instance, the good, the bad, the indifferent, things that have gone well, things you’d like to see different. Anybody got some1 1 insight to share?1 Eric Vallilee About six months ago my Dell laptop started really, really slowing down on me like it was just crazy slow. And no matter what I did, I couldn’t fix it so I decided to just format out the hard drive and start fresh. The problem was that after I did that, some of the software that came with the computer stopped working, reinstall it and reactivate it, but I didn’t have the activation keys for it, like McAfee, that sort of thing. So I called Dell support and was transferred around a couple of times. Then I was told that I had to contact McAfee, only to be told I had to contact Dell, so I called back, they gave me a different number and when I finally called back after a couple of hours, the other number was closed. So I don’t use McAfee anymore. I never got it resolved, I use Microsoft Security Essentials instead, but that was pretty disappointing to me because you pay extra for this for a tech support with Dell, you pay an extra $100-$200 and to1 1 have that result, on top of the software you paid for, it’s pretty disappointing.11 1 Mark Evans Was their any resolution to that?11 1 Eric Vallillee Yeah, I changed software.1 Jason Duty So I’m sorry you had to go through that first and foremost, frankly software issues are a big challenge for us and for us internally it’s sometimes simple to figure out what’s a hardware problem and a software problem but sometimes it’s not and so we expect for the average consumer it’s probably not that easy as well. That’s one of the things we continue to work on to1 1 make that process better and to simplify those kinds of things. So I appreciate your feedback.1 2 Mark Evans Any other thoughts, anybody else?1 Dick Weytze Over the years I’ve been working, using Dell systems for 16 years and even before that actually I was working for a company where I did service warranties for them. One thing that I found with Dell every time I had called the support desk, I seem to bounced all over the world, which is very interesting. One night that I found very gratifying is possibly because the federal government, I think the 1-800 number we had to call is different from SME’s, individuals, whatever. I was talking with somebody in Cape Breton and I really enjoyed speaking from someone at tech support within Canada, and Cape Breton... I got a kick out of it a few times. Problems in themselves, many software problems we ended up building our own images, we have our own set of problems most of the time we had to work them out internally so it’s hard to compare that. The only major hardware problems I had was that the batteries never seemed to last. We’ve gone through to the Latitude right from the models 14-15 years ago till today, they just do not seem to stand up compared to other manufacturers. Just wonder if that is being1 2 worked on.11 2 Jason Duty So that’s a little bit outside my domain.1 Hanif Thakor I can totally address the Latitude response. Recently we launched the Latitude e-series against the competition and it performs better and the battery life has improved significantly across the board. Recently we launched the Vostro 131 which is more of a small medium business product and its a real sleek product (its in the back if you want to look at it). We had it internalize the battery and through feedback from customers we made it a replaceable battery and weve also extended the battery life. Weve taken this kind of feedback and battery life seems to be one of those common recurring things. Not only do you get the extended battery like you see here but you can get a battery slice or replace your optical drive for additional battery so there are lots of solutions and you can run your system all day long without recharging it. The other thing is that1 2 when you plug it and within an hour you have an 80% charge; our competition cant do that. Jason Duty You raised another point in your comment about offshoring support, you mentioned that1 1 sometimes you get someone from all around the world when you talk to support people.1 Dick Weytze It’s dependent upon time of day. I used to go to work very early and I don’t think anyone was online in Canada, so yeah, I’d be speaking with people from other countries and sometimes even down in the States, that was interesting. I know people are not supposed to divulge where they are but they gave a little bit of information, I did enjoy that. Most people were very helpful.1 1 Many were quite knowledgeable and my problems resolved quite quickly.1
Jason Duty Good. we’ve actually been working on our global support force, and so, to give a person in one country to call Dell support it’s likely you’ll get someone in another country and we know that that can be challenging and that’s constantly an area of focus for us. I’m kind of curious about1 1 other experiences in the room. When you call Dell support, what’s your feedback? Lior Hershkovitz I think from the consumer point of view, I’ve bought quite a few Dell systems over the past few years. It used to be very bad, especially, well I know you guys get a lot of flak because it’s a offshore call center, a lot of people complain that they can’t understand the people they talk to. I personally didn’t find that to be the issue, but in terms of them solving the problems, it’s a huge problem. A lot of them are completely incompetent, they will tell you just basic troubleshooting, they don’t really think outside of the box. If there is something wrong with drivers, they will just tell you to update it from the website and if that doesn’t work, please call Windows. Well, in a perfect world unfortunately, not everyone has the time to do that. The second purchase that I made was a Studio 9100, we discovered that there was a flap when you used the head phone jack lot of feedback probably because it’s too close to the power unit. So basically I had to escalate all the way to the demi gods of customer service, and even they could not resolve. One of the things I suggested, because the system was already exchanged and the second system showed exactly the same problems I said, you know what just extend the warranty and maybe if you come up with a fix it would be covered under the warranty. Now I’m basically stuck with this system, it’s not a huge issue, but considering it’s a premium product you’d think you’d find these kind of problems before you ship it out. The third one was just recently it was an XPS laptop we had a problem with the screen initially and I think that the customer service on the third one was much better. In terms of that they should be called back to check system exchange, so they called back, they were a lot more concerned, how is the system working, did you accept a new system. It was very smooth, I’m impressed with the last one. All this happened in the last two years, they were complete disasters in terms of them actually identifying the problem and also when it comes to thinking outside of the box a little bit. They are like, no, we can’t do that, no we can’t extend the warranty, but it’s your defect and so it’s only fair. If you escalated the problem to engineering, but we don’t know when there is going to be a fix. Thank you very much, but I was hoping to expect a lot more considering I just spent $1,600 on a brand new system. So, but I think in terms of technical support offshore issue, yes there are sometimes a lot of needless transfers between departments especially when you need to buy new systems and so you call tech support they say, well we have to transfer you to the other tech support, then you have to talk to them and then customer service, okay so we’ll transfer you back to customer service. I think it’s gotten better, but there’s still a lot of room for1 2 improvement.1 Jason Duty Well I’m glad to hear that your most recent one went well, one out of three isn’t very good,1 2 right?1 Lior Hershkovitz I was pleasantly surprised, and you know, with all the three systems, which is two laptops and one desk tops, I never actually kept the original system. The first one was an Inspiron 1545 and the screen was defected so it had to be exchanged. The second one was the problem with the head phone jack, which I complained, they exchanged it but the second one had the same problem, it was also confirmed by the technician. The third one again the screen defects, at least 20 dead pixels, which is actually the upgraded screen but that one went smooth, they exchanged it and the new system does not have that problem. It erodes confidence. It’s one thing to have a defective system shipped to you, but it’s also and how you handle the exchange process, how smoothly and how without any exacerbating the problem even more without all these transfers1 2 between one department and another. It has to be a lot more smooth.11 2 Jason Duty Thanks for your feedback. And I’m going to talk to you after, when we get a break, as well.1 1 Mark Evans So, Mark?1
Mark Graham This might be somewhat unconventional approach, but over the years we’ve got about twenty people at my company and we have well above average experience with Dell over the last several years. Hardware has been for the most part pretty good. In the odd time that we have had issues with our hardware, we’ve unfortunately found that the service, or just calling tech support, takes so long that we now do a business calculation, we go- if the desktop after let’s say a year and a half, it’s beyond the warranty but after a year and a half a computer should still be fine. If it’s going to cost $500 to replace it, we make business calculations and say, okay, our IT people are on the phone, dealing with it having to send it back and forth- forget it, we’ll just go and buy a new product. The bad is that the service is still frustrating whenever we have those odd problems, but the good is that the computers are so inexpensive, it’s just better for us to buy a new system. I know that’s not exactly glowing praise, but the reason I say it’s unconventional is because if you get the green screen of death, it’s going to take 5-6 hours to deal with it and1 1 exchange it, it’s just better to buy a new one.11 1 Jason Duty Well, that’s interesting feedback. You mention long call time, and it’s tough to get resolution.1 Mark Graham A lot of what Lior was mentioning is that there’s typically either wait times, or having been bounced around to a couple different people. I must admit it isn’t me on the phone, but its people that cost a fair amount per hour that are handling this on our behalf and I know that they have had some frustrations and it’s almost the conclusion that we’ve reached that if the system is beyond the warranty a year or two after the purchase, it’s easier for us to buy a $500 machine. It’s quicker. The good news is that it doesn’t happen all that often. I think we’d be out of business with that approach. And I think that the last experience was about a year ago, so in light of what you’ve been mentioning, maybe it’s been improved, so we haven’t had to call in a1 1 year. Anne Camden Let me throw in another comment as well. It sounds to me that some of these issues, hopefully we’ll address over the next year or so to make things easier anyway. In the consumer space for a while now we’ve got an application called Dell Support Center, so in the particular issues here where you say it takes more time than going out and buying a replacement, a hard drive or an entirely different computer. We’re hopeful that people find that Dell Support Center has hardware diagnostics on it and running that diagnostics should get a quick return back whether your component has failed or passed. So if you’re in warranty, what we hope to be able to do is to enable you to just go ahead and say, it’s a warrantied component the drivers failed, the memory stick failed, let’s just go ahead and give me your information and get a dispatch going, where you don’t actually have to call and contact and that sort of thing. So that’s something that I’m looking forward to on the horizon. It’s kind of been a holy grail, I’ve been at Dell for 13 years and I don’t know long I’ve been talking about this, but we’re really close to actually delivering that now. So that’s one way we’ve been hoping to improve that experience. Of course you’ve got to use the tools you got, you got to come online, for that sort of thing to help, but yeah, that I think is one of our key objectives is kind of how do we just make it simpler. How can we be a little more proactive to give you tools where it’s easier to take care of these1 2 issues without having to go through that kind of struggle.
Bob Benedetti With customer service in general, my personal experience hasn’t been terribly good. Over the years, I’ve been responsible for buying a whole bunch of Dell computers for the companies I’ve worked for and/or bought one for myself. I’ve only had to call customer service once. And it got frustrating for a while, this was a few years ago, it got frustrating for a while but then finally one time I called, about 2 in the morning, or some odd hour or maybe the weekend I don’t know when it was, but I called and I got a guy in Edmonton instead of some guy in Bangalor, and he was able to answer the question he was able to send me a cd to fix the problem. The feedback I got when I asked for opinions, was that the general feeling was that the more recent experience dealing with customer service is a frustrating experience; lots of transfers, phone calls, people don’t call back. I had one guy I personally recommended his first Del computer and he subsequently bought four more, his most recent one was about three years ago, it was an Inspiron 800 I believe it was. It had a well-documented defect and he couldn’t get anything done. He wrote letters, somebody sent him a $10 gift certificate for his next Dell purchase. He brought the computer to show me and pressed the button and you twist it and it turns on <laughing> Apparently if you look online for this particular model, it’s a motherboard problem that is well documented and that the switch doesn’t work so you twist the computer a little bit and it works and it works fine after you twist it a little bit. But he was very frustrated and his next computer will not be Dell. Another report I got was a guy who still pleased with his Dell computers and will probably buy another one and but his problem was with the printer. Every time he called, they acted like he was trying to steal something from them. That was the impression that they gave him, that’s what he wrote anyway. His most frustrating experience was that he bought (before printer cartridges were available in the channel), his printer cartridges from Dell and he bought a box of ten and one was defective and he tried to get it replaced and again they were acting as though he was trying to steal from them. In his case, he is still happy with both the printer and the computers and will continue to buy Dell, but he was really1 1 frustrated with his experiences with the customer service. Eric Vallillee I just want to say, now that computers are getting cheaper and cheaper and cheaper all the time, and it’s getting so much easier going into a Future Shop or Best Buy and buy one. The service I think is probably one of the key things as much as the product itself because I just have to tell you a quick story. I had a friend recently who’s in school with me and her computer she had an HP and it failed and she was able to just go to Best Buy and it was replaced on the spot. That warranty that gives that to you is the same or even a little less then what you pay for technical support with Dell and when you go through the online order process. The thing is If I can just walk into Best Buy and replace my computer instantly when it breaks and I know if I ‘m going to be calling Dell and there’s the transfer issues and that kind of thing, Dell’s always going to be at a disadvantage because they have to ship things to you. The only way to make up for that is to make sure that the people answering the phones are really, really good and aren’t bouncing you around, aren’t getting frustrate with you, aren’t sending you to weird website s to update your drivers, that kind of stuff. It just really has to be simple and it has to be as quick as possible.1 2 Otherwise people are just going to say forget it, I’ll pay the same amount and go to Best Buy. Jason Duty That makes a lot of sense and I think the comments agree with you 100%, service and support, if it hasn’t been a bid differentiator in the past, it certainly is now. So I think that, either one of the programs that I didn’t mention is a little bit on the softer side, we call it the People Program, and one of my peers was responsible for this program. We found that getting in touch with people on the front lines much like getting in touch with you all today provides a wealth of information to the executives who run the call centers to say what the problems were from their perspectives and based on that feedback we’ve actually developed quite a few things on the people side that help our, as an example of our technicians in Bangalore understand how a customer in North America tends to react, likes to be treated. So I think that’s an ongoing program that we think is really important and it’s very cultural in nature. So this is not so much a process, not so much1 1 policy, it’s about helping people understand people.1 Eric Vallillee I think that that’s really good, because I had an experience once where I was talking to somebody in India somewhere and normally the accent is not an issue. I don’t usually have trouble understanding, but I was really having trouble with this one so I said, I’m sorry can you repeat yourself a couple too many times and he got frustrated with me, which is like, I paid how money hundreds of dollars for the privilege of phoning you today? Generally that stuff doesn’t happen, so I think that that kind of program where you’re dealing with the cultural differences1 1 and just making people understand where other people are coming from is really good.1 Jody Arsenault You say it doesn’t happen a lot, but that’s one of the biggest things I’ve heard too, is when they1 1 phone in and they can’t understand. It’s a big frustration with a lot of my communities.
1 Kathryn Lavallee It depends on the person to a large extent. Some people have a better ear for picking that up and1 1 some people don’t. It can be an issue and it cannot, depending on the person.1 Jason Duty I think that there are communication issues. The feedback we’ve gotten for the most part is that as long as this person is helping me resolve whatever problems the is, the communication barrier is okay. It’s when communication breaks down and we’re not really reaching some sort of a resolution and that’s what seems to get people frustrated. I’ll say, the People Program, for us at Dell was that while over the last 6-7 years as in terms of a leadership team we’ve made it really, really hard for our employees to help customers so we’ve been looking at that over the last couple years and looked at policies that generally aren’t customer friendly, looked at processes that generally cause people to get passed around. So I think some of the programs I mentioned earlier are there to are meant to address these things. A lot of it comes from customers and from1 1 the front line folks who have the experiences with calls that don’t go so well… Bob Benedetti One thing that might help, if there is a way you with phone support, it was a personal one, but figure out a way to put this concept into phone. I had my first iPad 2 had an intermittent problem, that was a well-documented problem that was known, I went back to my local Apple store, and I said, this thing is doing this, it might not do it now but it will do it tonight perhaps or maybe next week some time and the guy just took my iPad and gave me a new one. He didn’t sit there and say go try to troubleshoot this or that, it was an established issue, I had a good description of what it was doing, there was no question it was this issue, whereas my experience with Dell customer service and other companies, Dell is by means the worst offender, if there is a way that your scripts could incorporate when there are known issues, so that certain key words the guy types in for the issue he’s presenting, that instead of just the usual script he gets to ask the customer to plug in your computer <laughs>, you know, or something like that, this is a fairly common issue and it might speed up the decision making about how you are going to deal with that and I don’t know how you would work it within the context of a call center type, but if there was a way if you got a call and they could see it’s a known issue and you’re not going to do nothing but frustrate the customer if you walk them through plug the computer in, reboot it, reboot it from the CD, when in fact you know you are going to have to replace the computer or send them a part or something. If there is a way to incorporate that into the system where the guy knows this is a common defect, because nowadays on the internet, people, even relatively inexperienced computer people, go hunting around the internet and they find it real quick and1 2 that hey! 800 other people have my problem, how come Dell doesn’t know about it. <laughs>11 2 Jason Duty That’s really good feedback and a really good suggestion; it’s got a star in my notebook here. David Miketinac I do know that there is an individual I meet with back in Austin that actually mine the data from tech support to kind of proactively engage customers for the soul purpose of trying to find problems before they start happening in mass. I think the numerics that come back, that are kind of the gate to when we see a certain percentage of these; it triggers a more proactive message. I’ ve seen these come out, I know I’ve gotten one myself. I’ll tell all of you, the one thing about these forms that’s always concerning to me, as an individual that really bleeds Dell blue ; from a sales perspective, I know that this morning, I’ll use an example, I don’t know why today it’s the first in a while, a customer from I don’t know where, and I don’t know what country and I don’t know for what reason sent me an email that said, the line was, “super frustrated” was one of them, I think the other one was “I’m livid.” Phil can weigh in on this one. My instructions back to whomever I sent it to is, usually several words. Take care of it and over satisfy them. So when you hear these sort of examples, and I can’t speak for Phil, only myself, it’s always a challenge for me. I had an incident, Brad knows my dad’s a retired army general and I’ve a military background myself, one thing that I’ve learned about military generals is when they have a problem, they are usually pretty loud about what’s going on. My dad called me on a Saturday, I happened to be at work, and my dad was having a problem, coincidentally with a printer. It wasn’t with the technology, it was, you told me that when I bought my printer, I could recycle my other printer and I’m calling your customer support and I didn’t get the box to send it back in. I’ve been on the phone for two hours and I’m trying to get the box. And my dad, who also has an MBA from Notre Dame, told me that this is why companies fail. It was a rather1 1 lengthy conversation, actually. Him talking to me and me doing the listening.11 1 Phil Bryant We all like being dressed down by our fathers <laughs>1
David Miketinac What I will tell you is that my dad had a problem the other day and the good thing about generals that I’ve found over the years, when they are satisfied, when you’ve corrected it, they’ll also let you know. My dad said I called this person, it seemed like an easy decision, they called out that it’s against what they usually do, but it sounds like this is the right thing to do in this case. All these issues that you have, my only request is, I know that these transfers happen enough to know that I don’t want to stick my head in the sand and say they don’t. You are going to get an email, you are going to get a bunch of addresses when you leave this room. My children go to school, my families livelihood is based on the four letters on the wall, of this company. I know how Michael feels when he gets this message. Send a message to Michael. I’ ve seen him send things back down, he responds to every customer message that comes his way and if it goes from Michael to my boss or my boss’s boss and to me, I have to give my boss1 1 enough data, what was the root cause, what didn’t we do. Send it to us, it has our name on it too. Phil Bryant It’s my job. It’s my job, that’s what I do. I love getting those things, a lot of what Jason’s talking about and what David talked about; somebody has written a procedure or a manual that says, this is how you do things. Well there’s just no way to cover every possible situation. You have to, like Jason was saying, you have to start building in flexibility to deal with these kind of things that come up. That’s one of the great things about my job. I can go, "I know what the1 2 manual says, but that’s clearly not right. It’s clearly not working." Dave Perry To me the difference between, (but I’ve never had to call customer support in the three months) I’ve had this laptop, but the difference between meek and great customer support and not is ownership, it’s feeling that you’re not the one having the runaround. Even being transferred from one department to another, the way that it’s being done, sometimes is key. Sometimes it’s seamless, you go from one guy to another, just because you are not being thrown to some queue and you hear some Muzak and you have to wait a couple minutes, when the guy comes back and says I have such and such on the line- taking that ownership, if it doesn’t follow normal procedure, at one point the buck has to stop, and whomever has your call takes ownership and1 1 does what needs to be done. That’s the key difference to me, the bad and the good. Phil Bryant The ones I get most exercised about internally with our teams, is when we make our internal1 2 problem a customer problem.1 That’s the one’s where the veins jump out of my neck and you just literally wonder what somebody was thinking. Our job is to make sure that that doesn’t happen, our problem isn’t your problem, if we got to transfer somebody, there’s a seamless way to do it where it doesn’t impact the customer and they actually appreciate oh you got me to the right person, fantastic, I’ m so happy, because they saw my problem. The problem is when we try to make it as if it’s your problem because I have to transfer you someplace and you get the Muzak and you wait and1 2 it drives us all crazy Dave Perry Years ago I was in customer relations for IBM at their business division, and the way I saw it was a customer support issue was one way to increase the satisfaction of the customer. It’s a touch point with clients and if you can quickly and efficiently resolve their issue, they end the call saying I bought the right equipment from the right vendor and that’s why I should have bought Dell. At the end of it, versus somebody who’s never had a problem and never called Dell support and never experienced that, you have a touch point, this is why you are that important to us and we’ll make sure that by the end of the call, you’ll almost be happy to have had to call us1 1 and see why we provide you with great service. David Miketinac Last week I taught one of our leadership sessions, leadership imperative, and I could commit to you that every leader in that room if they got your call from your friend that was frustrated with Dell, I’m going to go somewhere else, they would talk to them and in a minute they would buy their next Dell but I’m assuming it would have been a little longer because they would over satisfy. I think at the core of every Dell employee and I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been here for 17 years or because I believe in the company so much, everyone believes that their job1 2 is just driving satisfied customers.11 2 Bob Benedetti Obviously there are some of them that may not think that way.1 David Miketinac And that’s the thing, I think that in those situations you can find if you can’t get to someone that1 2 you don’t believe has that at their core, send it to Phil or I.1 1 David Gair Can I ask, do you guys…is there an outlet to get what you need?1
Kathryn Lavallee I don’t think it’s that easy to find and I think that’s a big part of the issue, it’s not easy to find the higher up to go to if you don’t get satisfaction initially, which is why so many people give up in1 1 frustration.1 Eric Vallillee I agree that it’s great that you guys all obviously care about these issues and care about the company and I don’t think anyone doubts that, but the problem is when we call the customer service line, the buck stops with this certain person and after you’ve gone through that, nobody wants to be spending another two hours googling around trying to find who to email about this,1 1 nobody wants to do that, so, like you said, you just give up in frustration and just moving on.1 David Miketinac I think to, maybe, but I don’t want to speak out of turn, the segment of the business I manage is heavily relationship sales, the vast majority of it. I can tell you that it may be easier for someone who has a sales rep that’s been assigned to them for some time and saying to their sales person, I’m totally frustrated, take care of me, and that the sales rep would do that. I think that maybe we could probably do a better job of maybe making sure that when people get frustrated, we provide that sort of contact information. I suspect that the customer care and tech support folks1 1 maybe would be able to provide that, it’s a great actionable item for us. Bob Benedetti I don’t know if it would be again worth considering providing some sort of feedback mechanism into the system, because obviously you’re doing right, I quoted some of the unhappy ones, but I got a lot of people who said I’m happy with Dell and I’ve been a customer for 10 years. You do a good job in a lot of cases it’s not like I’m saying you are all doing it all bad, maybe the trick is1 2 to identify how you are doing that good job.1 David Miketinac This net promoter I was speaking about, where we send out all those surveys and I guess you are contingent on people responding to those surveys where they may have gotten to the point that they are fed up. I can tell you, any net promoter survey whether it’s positive or negative, the manager out bounds to that customer to say thank you for giving us a great survey or, what’s1 2 broken and how can I fix it.1 Bob Benedetti I deal with the company that hosts my blog, and every time I do an online chat with them, or a telephone service call, the online chat I get a pop up right away and it’s almost like you have to fill it out before you leave. Or else I get an email right after the phone call and it’s an easy form to fill out. It makes me happy to tell when someone does something right or wrong, because this company is priding itself on its customer service and so I think that there must be some better way to attract people to sign up for my blog and the pop up chases them off, you have to figure a1 2 way to do it so that you are not so that you aren’t chasing them off…11 2 David Miketinac Survey fatigue I think they refer to that as.1 Bob Benedetti I think again that there’s some way if you can get at least a statistically reliable feedback so when it’s going well… It’s probably more important to get the feedback when it’s going well, because then you can see where you are doing it right (yeah) and that’s the key, and anywhere I’ ve ever did, I looked too closely at what we did bad because I looked at what we did well and1 2 tried to just move it around and make sure everything went that way.11 2 David Miketinac That’s great feedback.1 Eric Vallillee Just on that, I agree with one of the things I’ve noticed with a few different companies is what they do is right when you call them, if you are willing to do a quick survey after press one and afterwards it only asked you two questions; were you satisfied and was your issue resolved. Press one for yes and press two for no. I think that would give good feedback not only on every1 2 single call, but it also gives the people in the call centers some incentive to work towards more…11 2 David Miketinac That’s a great idea.1 1 Eric Vallillee One thing that I really do like, and I know I’ve been kind of rough on Dell this morning...11 1 David Miketinac We like you being rough…1
Eric Vallillee One thing that I really do like is that when I usually buy a Dell customer I buy it through the website and I customize it, but there’s been once or twice where I had to call in to modify or I forgot this or whatever, and what I really like is that when I do that, I not only get an email back saying this is your modified order, but it’s from the specific person and you get their name, and you get their contact- it’s like you are actually dealing with a real person instead of an automated email and that not only makes you feel like you are more in touch with them, but it also gives you that feeling that if I did need to complain or something, I know who to call to resolve the1 1 issue1 David Miketinac It’s a great point, Eric. If I’m not mistaken, you guys keep me honest, I believe those emails are a function of feedback from our customers, they wanted that more personal touch. Great1 1 feedback.1 Brad Penner Every one of our email signatures will have our boss’s name on the bottom. So on the bottom of mine is Phil, for some reason if I get a customer escalation and I’ve lost my mind and I cannot1 1 figure out how to solve it, Phil will know, or Phil will figure out how to find my wits.1 David Miketinac It is interesting; we talk about being a very metrics-driven company. Commonality in email signatures where there is corporate mandate to have who is your boss, how am I doing, are you 100% satisfied with my boss’s email on there. You talked about that as a little incentive to insure you have a more positive customer experience. I know in the small medium business segment, it’s also on voicemail messages. We constantly want feedback, how we can do better,1 1 and the appetite’s there, please keep it coming. Lazlo Molnar One more thing…social media, in terms of an outlet, it’s actually a lot more powerful than customers realize. Any time we go on our Facebook pages…www.facebook.com/dell or Canada www.facebook.com/dellcanada or our twitter handles, the @dellcares team, we have our senior managers looking at these daily, and basically we escalate these to the right people right away for quick resolution because this is very visible to everyone and most of the time we have very happy customers come back talking about their great experience with their particular customer1 2 care reps so that’s a great outlet. David Miketinac I know there’s a segment where we talk about social media, there’s a book out there that some of you have read that is called the Thank You Economy and it talks about the power of social media. If you haven’t had a chance to read the book and understand the importance, I don’t1 1 want to ruin the book, I would do less of a job explaining it, pick it up it’s a great read Jason Duty So again, you can contact me for any support issue and I think I’ve heard a couple that sound like they are still open and I’d like to talk to people at some point today about those. I’ve mentioned my team @dellcares, my team is fully empowered to solve anything and everything. They are fully empowered to throw policy procedure process out the window. If it doesn’t make sense and if it’s not getting to a good resolution. I would also say consider that as a hotline for you and your extended communities. We’d love to help, we would love to help more people than we are today, and really we’re trying to get the word out about the positive experience we1 2 think we can provide through that channel. Sarah Richardson I think that Eric, to your point, Jason’s team does a great job handling the individual accounts as well as support so you know that it’s a real person. There’s a woman at Dell she’s helping me through my process and she’s kept me updated in real time and how they manage that account, so I think they are doing a good job, you have that direct person and especially for you guys who are so active and social, the fact that you can get an answer really quickly, right there…weve1 1 seen people respond really well.11 1