While the above refers to some essential aspects of company growth, there are many other areas that could be improved. The following is a summary of some of the areas that could be enhanced and adjusted to increase viability and consumer perception of the company.
Financial streamlining in the business and service area is an important aspect that has been recognized by Dell and which is in need of improvement.
Customer Service. As has been noted in many studies customer services are an area that has been singled out as not being up to standard in Dell. As one article states; "Consumer Reports rates Dell's customer service below that of every other company it examined, a group that includes Apple, Sony, Gateway and Hewlett-Packard" (Smith a. And Godinez V. 2007). There are already plans by the company to launch a major customer initiative. According to reports, Dell will, "...spend $150 million on a service improvement plan that will boost staffing at its tech support center from 1,000 to 4,500. The company also plans to double its design staff and streamline operations -- by halving its list of vendors, for example -- to regain its cost advantages " (Smith a. And Godinez V. 2007).
Communication. This is an essential area that should be focused on - especially in terms of the problems with outsourcing. This also refers as well to the company's profile and the way that it presents itself on the Internet. Improvements in this regard have already been noted by commentators; for example, the openness of the Dell corporate weblog, direct2dell.com, which discusses the need for improved customer service. "In terms of the relationships to customers that the Internet now allows, they've woken up, and I see big and important changes... (Smith a. And Godinez V. 2007).
Dell has stated that 55% of its future growth will be outside the United States. This future scenario therefore requires a new approach to communication from the company and with regard to its various stakeholders. As one pundit emphasizes; "Dell leaders know that it is not wise or possible to manage foreign offices with U.S. management techniques and philosophies. It doesn't work" (Heldman 2005).
In other words a new approach to the way that Dell deals with and manages its outsourcing concerns is essential; which in turn entails new models of communication that are more suitable to a global market. Dell has already encountered various communications obstacles and should take cognizance of these as templates of the future. For example,
Dell initially received complaints about its Indian call-center operations, but tracked the problem down to a lack of awareness about the product suite, rather than taking the easy road and saying that the problem had to do with a cultural barrier. (Heldman 2005).
Cultural problems are however often the root cause of misunderstandings and communication breakdowns within call and service centers. An example is as follows: "For instance, in India, it can be a sign of disrespect to disagree with the client. A programmer might well have a better idea of how to do something, but he is not likely to speak up." (Morphy 2006). Pundits note that these are barriers that need to be overcome in order to improve Dell's sales outcomes. However, they also point out that addressing these problems will involve "...more than just a training video on cultural differences and lessons for contact center reps on how to pronounce American names" (Morphy 2006).
Dell has also stated that it envisages its future sales to come for Asia, Japan and Europe and that these will be more than its sales in the United States. This factor underlines the increasing importance of effective communication models that will improve the services and customer call centers. If Dell is to improve its customer services image it will also have improve internal as well as external communications and perceptions. In the present market climate, Dell faces stiff competition in these areas and will have to make use of innovative and effective strategies to increase its profit margins.
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