Sunday, July 17, 2005

No Matter What You Do 

Dell computers has been taking hits lately for its customer service. You may recall that I linked to a blog here a short while ago in which the blogger seethed publicly about his customer service difficulties with the company then bought a Mac.

Dell is catching flak again because it has dropped some customer care message boards. Customers accuse the company of not giving a "damn" about service. Dell in riposte said that it shut the message boards down precisely because it cares about customer service. It seems some questions on the boards required divulging personal information, and the company doesn't want that done in public.

So who's right and who's wrong? It doesn't make a difference. When things go bad, anything you do appears to be wrong whether it is or not. Dell might be in the wrong for failing to explain clearly enough why it is shutting the boards down. On the other hand, the message board moderators might be blamed for complaining loudly when Dell has a proper case.

I've said this before and I'll say it again. In some cases, no matter what you do, you can't win from a PR perspective. You have to do the right thing and take the heat. Maybe someday, people will understand, but that is cold comfort when you are under attack.


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