A worthwhile example of corporate transparency: Dell…

June 17, 2007 at 9:07 pm 2 comments

A former Dell employee posted an article June 14th that got a lot of play:  22 confessions of a former Dell Sales Manager.  Lots of traffic and 1500+ votes on Digg.  In the article, the author goes on to expose a lot of “tricks” on how to work the online system at dell.com.  Nothing in this post was particularly anti-Dell, but there are a number of items that it’s obvious if you were Dell you might prefer weren’t posted. 

June 15th, the same author/site posted again:  Dell Demands Takedown of our “22 confessions of a former Dell Sales Manager”.  This posting racked up 3500 Diggs!!  In it, the Consumerist posts the text of a communication (a few back and forth conversations) from a Dell Attorney requesting that the post be removed. 

Ugh…Not a good scene.  Big companies have challenges in working through response management in the web 2.0 world – where you pretty much have to assume transparency. 

June 16th, the Dell Community team (responsible for Direct2Dell) steps up with a direct response:  Dell’s 23 Confessions

Let me say, good recovery Dell.  Yes, it would have been better for this not to happen at all, but in reality, it does. The judge of your commitment to community is in the quality of your response.  Here’s what I liked:

  • The opener:  “Now’s not the time to mince words, so let me just say it… we blew it.”
  • Acknowledging other bloggers posts on the topic (Jeff Jarvis) – this says they did some homework.
  • It’s personal, I don’t know who Lionel is, but the post is an “I” post vs “we” – good tone.
  • Tied in a relevant discussion happening in Ideastorm.  More homework here and including real customers in the discussion.
  • Point to point discussion – not negating the feedback or challenging it, just presenting their point of view and links to help.


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