Dell Customer Service Experience

Like a lot of people, I own at least one Dell computer. Yesterday evening I formatted it (which I try to do every now and then) and reinstalled Windows. It worked just fine, but I was missing some drivers I had to install.

Of course, I couldn’t find the drivers disk that came with my computer so I ventured over to the Dell web site (using my other computer) and tried to find the drivers. I found my service tag (which really should be in an easier place to access than the lower corner near the back of the computer), entered it into their search box, and it came up with a few pages of drivers. I had a general idea of which drivers I needed (figured it out from the device manager), but my computer didn’t have the same description as Dell’s web site.

I noticed a Live Chat link and clicked it. I had done this before when I went through a similar process with a friend of mine and recalled the live chat experience to be fairly good. It was! Pleasant was an understatement and I had a very good customer service experience with Dell.

I went to the chat (which worked well, unlike many similar applications), only had to wait about 10 seconds to be connected to someone, and he was very helpful. He sent me the links to the drivers I needed, was patient, was friendly, and was helpful.

I even asked him if he lived in India (Yes), if he liked working for Dell (“Of course! I love working for Dell!”) and where in India he lived (Chandigarh) and all questions were responded to politely and quickly. Though answering my questions could have taken a bit more time away from other chats he was likely doing at the same time, it made the support experience more personal and a bit more pleasant.

From my experience, I can tell Dell does do some things right:

The representative probably didn’t have too many chats open.
This is a big thing that causes the quality of live chats to be lower than expected. Representatives are sometimes asked/required to have as many as 9 or 10 chats open at once, which can be quite intense to say the least. A good chat representative can handle 2-4 chats at once without jeopardizing the level of customer service. Of course, it depends on the level of complexity of the issues (finding and sending driver download links is pretty simple), but 2-4 is a good rule of thumb.

They train their representatives.
On average, if you get representatives (especially those who may not be native English speakers) off the script by asking them questions like where do they live or if they like working for a company, their spelling and grammar will get noticeably worse. The guy I spoke to maintained perfect spelling, grammar, and punctuation throughout the entire chat and I was very impressed.

I couldn’t tell if you Dell already has pre-defined responses for simple questions like mine, but in a separate experience, I was talking to a representative while I was waiting for something to install and he told me that he was studying to be a pilot. I don’t think that is in Dell’s training manual, but who knows.

On a technical level, the representative knew what he was talking about and was easily able to help me. The representative definitely knew what he was doing and the training he likely got did pay off.

They hire smart and friendly people.
In pretty much every support experience I have had with Dell, I can not say anything bad about the representative’s intelligence or level of friendliness. The only problems that customers usually run into are language barriers, which can cause lots of problems. However, the average customer service representative that works for big companies like Dell, HP, Microsoft, etc. is quite intelligent and usually very friendly.

At the end of the chat, there was an (optional) survey that I was also told about before the chat. It had about 10 questions ranging from how nice was the person I spoke to to a question like was I happy with the amount of time I had to wait to speak with someone? The scale was a 1 to 9 scale and there were about two open ended questions where I could have put suggestions or feedback.

All in all, kudos to Dell. They handled the situation very well and I don’t have any suggestions for improvement as far as customer service goes.

My only suggestion to Dell would be to perhaps fix up their process about finding the drivers you need yourself. If the representative has access to a page somewhere that says what drivers I need, Dell should make a way for customers to access it as well. Self-support is a great and if every company could improve their self-support options, they surely would save a lot of time and money.

10 Responses to “Dell Customer Service Experience”

  1. CustomersAreAlways said:

    Aug 10, 06 at 6:46 pm

    Yes! Good Customer Service Experiences With Dell!…

    Ah ha! Enough of the Dell (DELL) bashing already! Here are some good customer service experiences with Dell I came across today: Service Untitled tells us an experience with a Dell customer service rep in India via the online chat……

  2. CustomersAreAlways said:

    Aug 10, 06 at 6:57 pm

    Tips to Alleviate Employee/Manager Conflicts at Service Untitled…

    Service Untitled has been kind to fulfill a topic request that I submitted….  Conflicts between a manager and employee is a common occurrence in the workplace – at least when I was a manager it was!  As a manager you……

  3. CustomersAreAlways said:

    Aug 10, 06 at 7:04 pm

    I Missed “Blogtipping Day”!…

    I missed Easton Ellsworth’s Blog Tipping Day earlier this week, so if you’ll allow me to be fashionably late… I just came across this first site.  Subsequently, this blog was asking for comments, so here goes… Blog:  Hotels!  A Man…

  4. Sasha Manuel said:

    Aug 11, 06 at 3:26 pm

    I worked in the call center industry here in Manila that serviced Dell a couple of years back. I handled inbound sales for their Home computers.

    Reading this positive feedback made me feel validated because we did get the training to efficiently do the job and we are competent enough to handle customers’ concerns even when English is considered a second language here in my country.

    Thanks, Doug.

  5. Christina Jones said:

    Aug 11, 06 at 4:16 pm

    That is why I stick with Dell. My laptop may well wind up catching on fire in my lap, but I know the customer service folks will do a good job getting me a new one. Seriously, I use their tech chat and phone support a lot, and they have never once disappointed me. I love my Dells (I have…um…6, all crammed into about a 1200 sq ft house…ridiculous).

  6. Kalivo - Show said:

    Aug 15, 06 at 3:19 pm

    […] Service Untitled tells us an experience with a Dell customer service rep in India via the online chat feature. In conclusion: “All in all, kudos to Dell. They handled the situation very well and I don’t have any suggestions for improvement as far as customer service goes.” […]

  7. Dan said:

    Aug 16, 06 at 1:46 pm

    As you noted with your experience with Dell’s customer support, chat does serve a purpose, but many analysts note that it has yet to fulfill its promise of boosting sales the way a phone call can. Jupiter Research was recently quoted by Internet Retailer as saying, “Text chat has some underlying problems that make its universal availability to consumers costly. Despite promises to the contrary, an agent cannot realistically handle more than 1.3 simultaneous chats, and agents do not generally engage in simultaneous sessions. Furthermore, executive interviews reveal text chat sessions last about seven percent longer than do phone conversations.”

    That’s why smart enterprises are balancing their contact mechanisms to offer the right form of contact at the right time. For general inquiries and service related questions where a canned response can adequately address the customer’s needs, chat works. However, for more complex, high value transactions, customers still prefer speaking to someone over the phone.

    For example, according to a recent Forrester Research report, some companies are opting for a click to call option which connects customers over the phone rather than a chat option. The report states, “Dell Financial Services screens online credit applicants for both credit approval and identity verification. Some approved applicants fail online verification, even though they are the true applicant. Prior to implementing eStara’s click-tocallback service, the lender lost about 90% of approved but unverified applicants — people who
    were ready to spend money but bailed out of the process after failing. After placing an eStara button on the form to provide a click-to-callback option, the lender now verifies — and converts— 55% of these applicants via phone. The cost to Dell Financial Services? A little more than $1 per call.”

  8. Service Untitled » HP Live Chat Experience - Part 1 of 2 said:

    Sep 14, 06 at 1:22 pm

    […] I talked about the live chat experience I had with Dell not too long ago. It was an overall good experience and Dell did a good job. Now, it’s time to compare Dell’s live chat experience to that of their rival, HP. […]

  9. CustomersAreAlways said:

    Sep 15, 06 at 2:02 pm

    Dell Update…

    Well, we know that all eyes are on Dell (DELL) these days….and it’s time for an update. Richard Binhammer of Dell (I think he’s a media person) paid a visit to Customers Are Always and left a comment. Here’s a……

  10. Reynolds Kosloskey said:

    Oct 13, 06 at 2:26 pm

    I had a terrible experience with Dell, and at the time of this posting, it goes on unresolved. You can check out my blog for a detailed description:

    http://rkosloskey.blogspot.com/