Posts tagged “dell”

It IS a big deal…

I’ve got a Dell laptop, and I’ve got two phone numbers for Dell tech support – one for general customers and one for small business. Every time I’ve called either number, the reps have told me that I actually need to be talking to someone via the other number.

Today I told Shane, the Dell support person I was talking to, how I get bounced around. Since I didn’t want to distract from getting my actual tech issue handled, I concluded with, “But it’s not a big deal.”

To my surprise, Shane responded, “It IS a big deal.” And then he proceeded to write an internal email to fix the routing of my calls and confirm what number I should use in the future.

What a shift it made in my mood to have it validated that this call-routing confusion was, in fact, something that is annoying and shouldn’t be happening. Thank you, Shane. Bravo.

The impact of good post-purchase customer service is tremendous, and these little humanizing moments go a long way towards creating that experience.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Mass Customization of the Fiat 500 – A number of folks we recently met in Europe mentioned this new (although an updated classic) car as being perfect for their needs. The variation and customizing, while perhaps not unique in today's marketplace (I'm imaging the Mini's variability is similar if not beyond) was still striking: "The 500 is available with four different trim levels: Naked, Pop, Lounge, and Sport. Customers can choose also between 15 interior trims, 9 wheel options, 19 decals, and 12 body colours. There are over 500,000 different personalized combinations of the 500 that can be made by adding all kinds of accessories, decals, interior and exterior colours, and trims."
  • Searching for Value in Ludicrous Ideas – Allison Arieff writes about "inventor/author/cartoonist/former urban planner Steven M. Johnson" whose "work tends toward the nodes where social issues intersect with design and urban planning issues." I'm reminded of my formative experiences with Al Jaffee features from MAD magazine where he's describe future products or technologies, or explain (fancifully) the workings of some current product (i.e. bars of soap that are made with quick disappearing stuff on the outside and then a small interior core that takes a long long time to dissolve).
  • Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us) by Tom Vanderbilt – Suggested to me by René Vendrig at the Amsterdam UX Cocktail Hour, after my talk on looking at cultural differences based on everyday observations. He tells me "It is about traffic, but the real subject is human psychology and how we deal with that kind of situations."
  • It's Not TV, It's HBO – HBO's standard-creating slogan, giving words to the premium experience of their programming.
  • It's not just coffee, it's Starbucks. – New ad campaign for Starbucks attempts to differentiate on quality, but sounds just a bit familiar.
  • All This ChittahChattah | Flying the sneaky skies – (see link for screen grab)

    While checking in online for a United Airlines flight, you may be offered the opportunity to upgrade to Economy Plus. It’s likely that most people decline upsells in many situations, though. The default would be to click “no thanks” and move on to completing the transaction. But United has done some tricky and manipulative interface design. The bright yellow arrow with bold text placed on the right is almost irresistible. E-commerce sites have trained us to envision a transaction moving from left to right (granted that they’ve landed on that model since it corresponds to how we read and other cultural factors); it’s very easy to click on the arrow and make a purchase you didn’t want. It takes cognitive work to search for the preferred option which is a lowly blue-underlined unbolded text link off to the left.

  • Evil-interface design in airline website design spanked by European Commission – "Another common problem is the use of prechecked boxes offering services like travel insurance; consumers must uncheck the boxes to remove the unwanted charge." I've written before about United's website being slightly more subtle in their evilness, by offering an upgrade during check-in where the highly visible (colored graphic arrow) button in the default location will cost you tons of money; it's more effort to realize, locate, and decline the offer. Why do we live in a world where major brands want to sell us things that we don't want by tricking us? It's unconscionable that any company can claim to respect consumers and then pull crap like this.
  • Cyd Harrell of Bolt | Peters reacts to the ludicrous Dell campaign trying to sell computers to women, in 2009 – "…a woman, with the last Dell I will ever own. It’s my current laptop, and I chose it because I needed a computer powerful enough to run screensharing tools and high-res video; I needed mobile broadband to stay in touch with my clients and employees, and not just my kid (heresy!); I needed my screen to look great when I go to meetings with clients. That is to say, I needed it for work. Dell, let’s make it official: you can bite me and the millions of other women who take themselves and their technology seriously."

    I love the articulate passion here, as well as the insight into what may have happened organizationally/culturally at Dell (ahem, really crappy research) that leads to such a horrendously offensive sales pitch to HALF of their buying population

No user serviceable parts inside

I replaced the hard drive in my Dell laptop yesterday. I knew that most desktop PCs were pretty straightforward for opening up and swapping out components (although my recent foray into replacing a hard drive in my deskop was a bit of a challenge, requiring going to find some archived discussions from others who had the same model computer), but always assumed that laptops were sealed and ready-for-technicians only.

Dell actually includes step-by-step instructions on how to do it. I had to remove the keyboard, the palm rest panel, and then the drive itself. The instructions seemed to miss a step but I figured it out. It was fairly easy and it worked right the first time. Kind of a neat design thing; making it non-trivial but straightforward enough that a non-mechanical and timid (but desperate) type like myself could actually do it.

Now I wonder if I can replace the drive in my old Sony VAIO 505 laptop; and make a backup system for myself?

At Dell We Love All Customers. Even the Ones Best Buy Doesn’t.

It’s been widely reported that Best Buy has created personas for their most profitable customers and taken steps to focus their efforts on attracting and keeping those customers and indeed rejecting other customers. Perhaps an effective strategy, but questionable PR.

Dell goes on the attack today, with a full-page ad that reads, in part

At Dell We Love All Customers. Even the Ones Best Buy Doesn’t.

On November 8, The Wall Street Journal reported that Best Buy is planning to shun up to 20% of its current customer base.

You read that correctly. Shun. As in actively resist. They’ve reportedly decided that as many as 100 million of its 500 million store visits each year are “undesirable.” To quote a Best Buy exectutive as reported in the article: “They can wreak enormous economic havoc.” Well, we would like to officially welcome each and everyone on of those customers to Dell. All of you. Come to right now and we’ll give you…[etc.]


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