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Social media as the new marketingChilds-45X64.jpg
Posted by Peter Childs

On Monday I attended Joseph Thornley's Ottawa Third Tuesday Social Media Meet-up. As usual it did not disappoint. Richard Binhammer, Dell's Senior Manager of Public Affairs took us through the process that took Dell from 'Dell Hell' to 'Dell Swell' and everything in between.. Along the way he provided remarkable insight into the way that social media could change corporate America. First the background way back in July of 2005 Jeff Jarvis took Dell to task for its customer service - and most importantly not paying attention to what their customers were saying (on blogs) about their products. Now as I've commented elsewhere Jeff's comment was a perfect storm for Dell. An influential and highly media savvy blogger takes the company to task, taps into an underlying sentiment that is accentuated by Google's page rank algorithm at the time (which favoured blogs) and press coverage of the emerging blog medium which connected with the broader public. It was impossible to miss - and damaging to Dell. Fast forward to Mr. Binhammer's presentation and you'd be forgiven for thinking the pendulum had swung the other way. Dell now scans blogs for any mention of Dell and swoops in with support if the customer is dissatisfied. It's got a team of top tier customer support and technical specialists to deal with nothing but blogger complaints. In a sense it's a re-architected customer support strategy that recognizes the importance of influence on the buying habits of others. To read more of Peter's blog, click here.

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