Dell, one of the largest technological corporations in the world, sells personal computers, software, computer peripherals and other digital products among the world. According to the Fortune 500 list, Dell is currently listed as number 51. Dell is well known for its customer-oriented services such as supply chain management and electronic commerce. More specifically, the supply chain management (SCM) used by Dell allows customers to build their own PC online and successfully satisfies each customer’s specification. The selling and buying of products in Dell is conducted over electronic systems, for instance, online transaction process enables consumers attain various services through the Internet. Such considerate services advanced Dell among other computer retailers.
The key problem area:
Customer Service is the linchpin of success for many organizations as a way to gain more customers, especially for a large company like Dell. Unfortunately, Dell’s reputation for customer service, which used to be very strong, has been rather poor since it moved its call center offshore. As the quality of its customer service goes down, consumers like Jeff Jarvis posted a blog, “ Dell lies, Dell sucks”, which successfully stroke a chord with a lot of consumers who had similar experiences. Such “Dell Hell” blogs have had a great negative impact on Dell’s reputation, resulting in a slowed growth in its revenue. In order to solve this problem, the former CEO Kevin Rollins announced plans to invest $150 million in customer service improvement and shift Dick Hunter from head of manufacturing to head of customer service. Dick Hunter responded to the challenge by expanding the customer service center and starting monitoring phone representatives’ behavior. Despite the fact that Dell spent more than $150 million on improving its customer service, the customer satisfaction is still slowly dropping according to American Customer Satisfaction Index.
High Stress Problem:
Dick Hunter, the new head of customer service, adopted a new strategy that is to treat the call center like a factory. Representatives used to be trained to solve only one type of problem, resulting in a high frequency of transferring phone calls. In order to find the right expertise, reps usually have to transfer a call several times, which causes customers a long time waiting on the phone. To reduce such inconvenience, Hunter required phone reps to resolve inquires in one call. He also expanded the call center, which could house 1000-3000 reps. Furthermore, large monitors were installed so that workers could see the number of callers who are on hold. The working environment has now been closely monitored. Therefore, representatives who work at the call center might have suffered from high level of stress due to these changes. The task demand is raised higher and each rep’s workload increases. Reps must acquire more knowledge about various kinds of problem solutions in a short...