Thursday, June 30, 2011

Have it Your Way

Again this past week, I had a vendor of whom I'm a raving fan deliver just what I wanted, the way I wanted it. Rare, approaching non-existent.

In my experience, there are precious few vendors who are willing to do business the way I want to. Burger King, in a landmark set of commercials in 1986, coined the phrase, "Have it your way". Competing with rivals McDonald's, who offered a limited, "standard" menu at the time, this catchy jingle got them some traction in a crowded market space.

My experience was with a vendor I've stayed with for 15 years -- Dell. Realizing that your mileage may vary, my experience with Dell is that they're the "best of a mediocre lot" of computer hardware vendors. What I really like, though, is that they'll deliver support, even on hardware, the way I want it delivered.

This past week I had a keyboard failure on my Dell laptop -- a key fell off. Not a mission-critical problem that I couldn't work around, but a nuisance I needed fixed. I used their email support (important item - they offer a communications channel that doesn't require that I wait on the phone), requesting that if they sent me a keyboard, I would change it out myself. That process is made easier, because Dell posts Service Manuals for every system with "screw-by-screw" disassembly/assembly instructions, so I knew I'd have step-by-step instructions on swapping the keyboard.

They took my request, processed it and replied by email that my new keyboard was on the way. Total time expenditure on my part so far = 2 minutes. The keyboard arrived 2 days later.  I opened the Service Manual and discovered that the replacement process was about 5 minutes. So, with a total of about 10 minutes invested, I had a new keyboard in my Dell. No waiting on the phone, and most importantly, no waiting around for a service guy to come by for 5 minutes of work.

Granted, I'm not the typical Dell Customer. Over 15 years of experience, though, this has been more the rule than the exception -- I know what I need and Dell delivers it in a manner convenient to me.

So, how does your company's service delivery process compare to this? Do you let your customers "Have it their way"?

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Terry Weaver

Chief Executive Boards International

Chief Executive Boards International: Freedom for business owners & CEOs -- Less Work, More Money, More Freedom to enjoy it 

1 comment:

  1. Fortune Magazine listed Dell as the sixth largest company in Texas by total revenue. It is the second largest non-oil company in Texas – behind AT&T – and the largest company in the Austin, Texas area.

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