Friday, January 25, 2008

in Dell hell: blogs and bad buzz

I subscribe to comments for some blog posts. Here's a comment recently posted on my old Twitter buddy Aaron Brazell's Technosailor blog. The post is "From Hell to Heaven", in which Dell is praised for doing some good PR moves.

Notice how raw, authentic, and frustrated the customer is. Can your business afford to have negative buzz in the blogosphere, which is rapidly becoming the P2P (peer-to-peer), i.e., non-commercial arena of inquiry, opinion, and shopping advice.

Your customers still listen to word of mouth, and they still check the Yellow Pages. But more and more are turning to online forums, micro-blog chat channels (Twitter, Jaiku, Pownce, etc.), and blogs for user reports and customer reviews, debates, and complaints.

People are getting pretty good at discerning false WOM (word of mouth), incentivized comments, and company spokespersons pretending to be real, honest customers raving about a product.

Does your company offend customers as this person claims was done?


I bought a Dell today and the hard drive failed on the first boot up. Called there tech support and got a person that only gave canned responces. After 30 min. on the phone the guy tell me he could not help me and gave me another number to call . I called and they said it was maybe the hard drive. I needed to buy a hard drive and have it there when the tech got to my home.

I told them I just bought the Dell to hours ago many times. After repeating myself 5 times they said I need to return it to Best Buy were I bought it and go right to the geek squad desk for repair.

Hell I bought a new machine and you would think it would at least boot one time.

After that I got on there chat and was told more or less the same thing. I told the chat guy it was their problem and not Best Buy's. I was told that Best Buys told me about a contract between the two about tech support.

My only comment was, and I repeated myself, was I bought a Dell new and they need to replace it or come to my h!ouse and fix it free, since I would have to drive over a hundred miles for repair......

Tim from Ohio
In Dell Hell



Not counteracting the negative publicity with some "viral" campaign about how great your prices, quality, and service are.

Change the reality of how crappy you treat people, become benevolent and truly care. Prove your corporate fluff hype PR -- and practice what you insolently preach.

Treat customers right, and the blogosphere will sing your praises.

Treat them poorly, and you'll have only yourself to blame for the decline in business, due to trash-talking pajama-clad New Super Bloggers. You know, the kind that have many blogs and many chat channels and many large audiences in a variety of niches and modes.

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