Sometimes it feels like our technology picks the toughest time to test us! I was on the Calgary leg of a road trip to Regina, Calgary, Seattle, and Anchorage a few weeks ago when my computer failed to boot up as I arrived at my hotel room that night. I live on this thing. I use it for e-mail, writing, reading e-books, magazines, and newsletters, accessing and maintaining our database, playing Scrabble and Solitaire, and making presentations.
While the blinking cursor on my blank screen taunted me I dialed the Dell support line with pounding heart. I was tired and frustrated and this was the last thing I needed that night. I wrote about my last experience with Dell last year in “Our Dell Dance to the ‘Bureaucratic Boogie’ Highlights a Common Service Breakdown“. I was getting my dancing shoes as I sat on hold. But I was still lacing them up when Frank promptly answered the phone. We then began a long process of diagnosing the intermittent problem — sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.
This was a very different experience than the last time. Dell has clearly switched directions and gone down a similar route to Amex (as reported in my last blog). Frank’s goal was not to get me off the phone as soon as possible. He was there to solve the problem. When he needed answers or to consult someone else he got my mobile number in case we were disconnected (we weren’t) and stayed on the phone with me.
We were not able to diagnose or fix the problem on that call because I don’t travel with my original installation disks. He was able to at least get the computer partially functioning and I needed to get to bed. After reaching Seattle the next morning, I talked to two more Dell reps as we got the computer functioning and downloaded a few software and system updates to see if they permanently fixed the problem or could better diagnose it.
We were narrowing it down, but before we were finished I had to catch my flight to Anchorage. While in my hotel room there, I talked to a fourth Dell rep. The problem was proving to be with the computer’s motherboard and needed to be replaced. We arranged to have their onsite technician with a new motherboard at my office late Friday afternoon when I got back.
The technician waited until almost 5:00 PM on a Friday afternoon until I finally got to my office — traffic was terrible — and replaced the part. We turned it back on and watched the magic as everything worked — even better and faster than before!
During my trip I dealt with four “customer care professionals” on the phone and one service technician at my office. Everyone went out of their way to try and fix the problem. There were update and follow-through e-mails along the way and a survey at the end. One question was a Net Promoter Score question. The answer is clearly yes; I would recommend Dell (especially with their onsite repair warranty) to family, friends, associates — and blog readers!