Chronicling the Dell Social Media Saga
I've been watching this Dell story for quite a while, even been on a panel with blog expert Shel Israel, author of Naked Conversations discussing it.
[Dell has come so far, they've learned to listen, converse, and lower the corporate walls. While this saga is not over, this is a classic case study of a corporation making a 180 degree turn using Web Tools]
Gone to Hell, Cursed, and Exploded
Dell's taken a freaking beating in the past years due to social media bloggers. you can do a search on Dell Hell, and at one time, if you did a Google Search on the term "Dell Support" this blog: What the F**k is wrong with Dell Support would be above the actual Dell Support site. (Today's Google results show it's still on the first results page)
Joining the Conversation, Cautiously, then with Gusto
Dell launched their One to One blog, which was met with mixed feedback. While some didn't think they did an authentic job at joining the conversation, others supported them for the effort. A few weeks after the initial launch, Dell started to publically recognize their faults. At CES, I had the pleasure to hang with Michael Dell himself, (thanks to Lionel) where Dell said they were going to start embracing Social Media, watch the video yourself.
Turning it up with Customer Collaboration
Just a few days ago, I helped to announce IdeaStorm, the idea was for Dell to create a Customer Feedback/Collaboration web tools that will let customers and employees create products together. Marshall Kirkpatrick at Techcrunch, wasn't sure if I was completely right that employees were fully onboard. Engadget cleverly modifies the tagline as they state that Dell Wants You to Make It Suck Less with Digg Clone.
Acknowledging the Voice of the People
Well it appears that Dell corporate (which I hope includes some employees) that they are on board and that they are taking IdeaStorm seriously. On this summary list, Dell demonstrates they are listening to what customers have been saying. A very strong meme is leaning towards open platforms (or none at all). It's even moved it's way up Digg, a popular user voting site. Not sure if the solution is worked out, as the costs may be even higher to get a wiped hardware machine.
Blindsided from ignoranc
Learned how to listen
Built tools to join the conversation
Learned the right way to interact
Reached to community
Acknowledged customer requests
Next Step (and most important) For Dell:
This is the most important part, the final leg of this cyclical journey is to get Dell to give the products that the people ask for.
Document and Measure
It will be very interesting to see if there's a reduction in Product Research costs from these tools. Could be a very insightful case study on Social Media ROI for corporations, I hope Dell shares this info with me. Keep at it Lionel Menchaca (the Community Manager), Michael Dell and the rest of the Dellions. By the way, if this whole concept is very new to you, I recommend you read the Cluetrain Manifesto.
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