From the book: New word of mouth case study on Dell

One of the biggest additions to the new edition of the best-selling book, Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking, is the five new case studies of brilliant word of mouth marketing from Dell, Potbelly, FreshBooks, Microsoft, and Levenger. We’re highlighting a different case study each day this week, starting with Dell:

Word of Mouth Case Study: Dell — Just Start Talking

The risks of not taking part became apparent when we look at what Dell did (or, more accurately, didn’t do) in 2005 when the company was criticized for poor customer service by Jeff Jarvis, a high profile blogger. Jarvis posted some relatively mild complains, and when Dell didn’t respond, the situation snowballed as more and more bloggers jumped on the story and spread negative comments.

By the time Dell finally came around to responding in an appropriate, personal way, they had lost significant credibility and had thousands of negative posts all over the web.

Because Dell was one of the first to get called out for not listening to its word of mouth, they became one of the first to learn how to do it right. Here’s what they’ve since done:

  • The company blogs with a real human voice that makes them accessible and open in five languages (including Norwegian, because a talented employee wanted to do it).
  • Dell’s 35 “Community Ambassadors” spend their days online talking, sharing, and solving problems. These folks are on the front lines, building goodwill and finding new friends for Dell.
  • Bob Pearson, Dell’s Vice President of Communities and Conversations, makes sure the company stays committed at the highest level and for the long term.
  • Dell talks to its customers wherever they want to talk, including Facebook, Second Life, Twitter, or whatever comes next.
  • Anyone can suggest ideas for the company, comment on them, and vote for their favorites through IdeaStorm. So far, some 10,000 ideas have been submitted and more than 650,000 people have voted on them.

These projects represent simple websites, some customer service time, and a lot of listening — anyone can do it.

We’re giving away 10 copies of Andy’s book. You can win one by letting a friend know about it! Click here for more details.

Disclosure: Dell is a member of the Blog Council, a GasPedal project for social media executives at the largest companies in the world. But even if they weren’t, we’d write about them anyway.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Streetcom Blog » Blog Archive » Word of Mouth Case Study - DELL - March 11, 2009

    […] ?ród?o: […]

  2. r.Choyeski » 4 Hot New Sexy Social Media Case Studies - March 11, 2009

    […] Dell make the Word of Mouth Marketing book – ya, ya, ya, Dell hear bad things on a blog, eventually put things right. (I bought HP after buying Dell and ringing customer support.) […]

  3. What the community expects from vendors looking to participate | Welcome to GasPedal! Word of Mouth Marketing Strategy, Training and Best Practices - July 30, 2009

    […] we often say, engaging with the talkers in your industry is one of the essentials of building relationships that […]

  4. From the new edition of my book: Word of mouth case study — Dell - November 10, 2009

    […] To see the full case study as well as how to win a copy of the book, click here. […]

Featured Downloads

9 Things to Share That Start Conversations

Use the examples in this guide to help inspire ways to make your message more portable and shareable.

Read More

3 Must-Use Word of Mouth Marketing Tools

These tools will help you kick off any word of mouth campaign no matter what topic, industry, or budget.

Read More

The Top Four Tips for Multiplying Your Word of Mouth

These tips can help you get your marketing to do more work without a lot of extra effort.

Read More

10 Ways to Turn Around Negative Word of Mouth

The most effective ways to stop negative WOM with examples from Zappos, FedEx, Dell, and more.

Read More

The New Topics Worksheet

All word of mouth starts with a topic of conversation — a simple, portable, repeatable idea that gets people talking.

Read More

The Word of Mouth Action Plan

Create a complete word of mouth marketing plan using this worksheet’s eight simple steps.

Read More