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Andy’s Answers: How Dell turned around negative word of mouth

In the updated edition of my book, “Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking,” I talk about how Dell is a great example of a company that turned around a lot of negative word of mouth by jumping in the conversation. Because Dell was one of the first to get called out for not listening, they became one of the first to get it right.

How Dell does it:

  • The company blogs with a voice that makes them accessible and open in five languages (including Norwegian, because a talented employee wanted to do it).
  • Dell’s 35 “Community Ambassadors” spend their days online talking, sharing, and solving problems. These folks are on the front lines, building goodwill and finding new friends for Dell.
  • Bob Pearson, Dell’s vice president of communities and conversations, makes sure the company stays committed at the highest level and for the long term.
  • Dell talks to its customers wherever they want to talk, including on Facebook, Second Life, Twitter, or whatever comes next.
  • Anyone can suggest ideas for the company, comment on them, and vote for their favorites through Ideastorm. So far, some 10,000 ideas have been submitted, and more than 650,000 people have voted on them.

These projects represent simple Web sites, some customer service time, and a lot of listening. Anyone can do it.