Great post on Buzzmachine about Dell’s blog Ideastorm. It’s a great story about how being open, honest and responsive to a problem has helped to earn back the trust of its user base. If any company needs to do that, Dell is a poster boy.
The customer in question, Jeff Jarvis, was very unhappy, very loud and unfortunately for Dell a very influential blogger. They ignored his complaint, he blogged about it and thousands piled on after him. Dell is under new management, well actually old new management, as Michael Dell is back in charge. Part of the turnaround seems to be a mission to reconnect with their customers.
This post tells the story about how they are using their blog to do it. It’s also a story about overturning orthodoxies (blogs really do matter; the customer now has a very loud voice and you better listen), the need to be adaptive (Sense & Respond), and most importantly, the benefits of listening to and collaborating directly with your customers.
It’s a long post, but well worth the read. Here is the moneyquote:
So what fascinates me so much about Dell is that it can rise from worst to first. Precisely because it got hammered by customers now empowered to talk back to the wall, it had to get smarter faster. Whether Dell can fix the rest of its problems, I don’t know. But if it keeps on the road it’s now on, it could well end up being the smartest company in the age of customer control. That would be one helluva turnaround.
<via Three Minds>