Dell's CIO on improving customer service

Don Tennant of ComputerWorld has an interview this week with Steve Schuckenbrock ofDell Computer in his article, Q&A: Dell exec addresses service woes in run-up to IT-as-a-service launch

Tennant caught up with Schuckenbrock, the president of their global services division and CIO, at the Premier 100 IT Leaders Conference, and they discussed the plans at Dell to "deliver a hosted remote-management offering that it calls "IT as a service," as well as plans for improving their customer service...

ComputerWorld:  It's no secret that there are a lot of Dell users with service horror stories, and there's obviously a reason that Web sites with names like IhateDell.net have sprung up. What's your response to someone who says that under the circumstances, there's a certain irony in Dell positioning itself as a service provider, because Dell's service is kind of a joke?

Schuckenbrock: "Well, first, I don't agree with that. Second, the reason I don't is because if you look at those sites, they call out specific issues, most of which are consumer-driven issues, not commercial-business-driven issues. If you look at our commercial business, it's performing very, very well.

"In fact, if you go out today and look at Technology Business Research, which is a research company that has published scorecards relative to technical support services, a year ago, Dell was third behind IBM and HP. Last quarter, Dell was first. So I think our commercial customers are beginning to speak and say, "We're seeing great service from Dell, and in fact better than the competition." It's one quarter. Who knows what happens in future quarters? But we are fully focused on assuring that we provide the best service possible."

What specific improvements can you cite?

"We're standardizing processes around the world — one global delivery capability. We no longer have regionally based delivery capabilities for services. We've found best practices from all corners of the globe that have helped us tremendously in terms of improving the service experience.

"And internally, we've had kind of a march over the last several years: "How do we get to 90% customer satisfaction?" That's where the customers themselves rate their service experience with Dell as "top notch" or "very satisfied." Now, that's a pretty high bar. Asia's now at 92%; EMEA's now at 90%; the Americas is up and into the 80s. And that includes all services — small, medium and large customers."

Tags: computers, retail, Dell, Steve Schuckenbrock, support, customer service, customer support.