As if Dell's problems with fiery PCs weren't bad enough, it seems the manufacturer's efforts at CRM have been crashing and burning as well.
According to a recent article on Line56.com, Dell's customers have repeatedly flamed the company (last fire reference, we promise) on its message forums, accusing Dell of such gaffes as making folks list their problems with products each time they speak to a customer service rep.
Now this is perplexing because even the most basic CRM system should be able to capture and record all interactions with a customer, so that the information is available in a central place. That way, if he has to call back, he won't have to go through the annoying exercise of repeating everything he already told Dell.
Guess Dell has focused so closely on becoming the king of the supply chain that it has neglected basic aspects of customer service. Interestingly, as Nicholas Carr posits in his blog, its famed direct sales model has also hurt its efforts at providing support -- a task often handled by reseller partners in other business models.
Dell's problems are especially interesting in light of the fact that many folks would say that CRM has become an affordable commodity available to companies of all sizes. It may not be as much of a commodity as some think if a giant like Dell can't figure out how to make it work.
Dell has been spending some big bucks to improve its customer service. Let's hope at least some of them go toward CRM system improvements.