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If there is a company still out there thinking that bloggers are not going to have real impact on your sales and marketing, follow the Dell one2one blog saga very, very closely. Because a wondrous thing has just taken place. After being flamed by the blogosphere, and two days of stunned silence, Dell is trying to get real.
UPDATE, 7/14: Dell rhetoric aside, 12 hours later, my comment on their post is still not on the Dell blog. It’s below, after the jump.
UPDATE 7/15: : While there are now 44 comments on the Dell post, mine is not among them. Hmm, I guess I need to post it again.
I can just imagine the tooth gnashing and meetings that have been going on round the clock at Dell over the past couple of days between the lawyers, the sales people, the bean counters, the marketing department, the ad agency, the PR firm and maybe even that hapless intern who called Jeff Jarvis a worm. Oh to have been a fly on the wall.
The Dell blog has a post about Dell’s notoriously horrible Dell Hell customer service, promising that they will make it better. You gotta prove that one Dell! This is for all the marbles.
And, they have a post about the Flaming Dell notebook photo that went round the world. They admit they have no idea why it blew up, and that’s great. That’s a human response. That’s conversational. They are looking into it. Which beats ignoring its existence by a mile.
The blogs also says that Dell started monitoring the blogosphere in May. Yeah, just a couple of months ago, they woke up and said, “crap! These bloggers are still here and they are still saying we suck.” Maybe they are not going to go away.
We’re still here, and we’ll cut you some slack if you follow up on these promises with action. So, tell us, Mr. Dell, WHEN is this great customer service going to start?

My comment to Dell’s blog post about listening:
7/13/06, approximately 10 pm:

Good to see that Dell is willing to address the customer service issue in this blog. No matter how great, or cheap your products are, without great customer service, they aren’t worth buying. Dell used to be known for service, but that was a long time ago.
I typing this at my Dell desktop. Because of the absolutely horrific experience I had with Dell customer service, I’d pretty much figured this was my last Dell. I’d love for you to convince me that my next computer should be my sixth Dell.
So does this post mean that Dell is once again interested in sales to the individuals and small businesses that built your business? Because that’s not what Michael Dell announced last September.
On Thursday, Sept 29, 2005, — the day i decided to buy a Lenovo instead of a Dell laptop, — The New York Times reported that Michael Dell (himself) announced:
“Dell, which has beaten its competition by slicing profit margins and turning low-priced computers into a commodity, is now turning to the high end…. selling a line of desktop and laptop computers it is calling luxury models.” The announcement said Dell “has assigned a sales force and customer service team to handle XPS customers.” (In other words, those of us who weren’t buying luxury models could stay in dell hell.)
Are you saying now that the rest of us slobs are going to get the benefit of this $100 million dollar service overhaul?
Saying it would be a start. Proving it would be what counts.