Who’s to blame?  The Agency?  The Operations Team?  Customer Service?

We give Dell a lot of our business and generally speaking, service has been good.  But things seemed to wildly unravel during my latest experience trying to buy their new XPS13.

Put in my order for a new $1,900 laptop – all the bells and whistles to help me through the many road warrior days I face annually visiting agencies, viewing pitches, talking with marketing clients.  Excited to move from my 11 pound laptop to this 2+ pound gem!

Delivery date is 4/15.  I paid $25 for 2 day delivery.

4/13 arrives and my computer is still “in production”.  I call, get transferred to a call center that seemed to be located across the globe – and after 20 minutes of a run-around, I come to find out that my laptop is delayed 11 days due to delays in the delivery of the screen.

OK, so who’s to blame for this one?  The Agency – who didn’t effectively connect up the website to Dell’s CRM system?  Operations – who didn’t communicate the change?  Or Customer Service – who shouldn’t have waited for me to call and question the discrepancy?

Might be all three.

The beauty of the whole experience is after I get off the phone with the guy I can barely understand, I receive this:

An email telling me how pleased Dell is that I ordered my laptop (confirming the order again, no less) and letting me know that it will arrive – not 11 days from 4/15 – but on 4/15!!

So in today’s world where there are many choices – and technology expectations among consumers are high, marketers and agencies need to be on their game.  For a company the size of Dell – with the abundance of agencies they have – it’s surprising that the agency didn’t test this functionality, the operations team didn’t make the agency test it, and customer service didn’t have the wherewithal to preempt my call or at the very least, know what they are sending out.

So what does this mean to you, the non-Dell marketer?

Make sure your agency dots its “i’s” and crosses its “t’s” because when I have my IT guy telling me he can turn to other resources like CDW to fulfill our IT needs and service us better than we’re being serviced now, incidents like this certainly help their (CDW’s) cause.

It’s also key to make sure that if you have a great deal of functionality on your site – like Dell does or any e-commerce company will have – make sure your agency is in deep with the IT folks and the operations and customer service folks.  Things like a site (with this level of complexity) can’t be built in a vacuum.  There needs to be cooperation and collaboration in order to create a seamless communication and service link with a company’s customer base.