Las Vegas - In a sales environment where consumer PC sales are flat, taking care of a customer's every need is the only way to ensure success, said Dell Computer CEO Michael Dell.
Dell took the crowd attending the first-ever CES Industry Insider event through the process that his company uses to ensure its customers not only get the computer they want, but that it is properly supported. When this is properly accomplished, Dell manages to outsell its competitors, despite the tough economic times.
'We have seen a slowdown in consumer and business PC sales, but there are still a lot of computers being sold,' he said. 'What this means is consumers are being more selective and value-oriented in their purchases so vendors have to go the extra mile to satisfy them.'
This is done through Dell programs such as its testing lab, where every third-party peripheral and software program that Dell sells, and many it does not, is checked for compatability and potential problems. This helps stop problems before they arise, he said.
Another customer-care aspect is the institution of Dell kiosks in malls around the country. While Dell discovered to its financial dismay that the retail world was not its niche, the kiosks fill an important need.
'These give consumers the benefit of talking to a Dell person and talking to a Dell representative, but we retain the direct sales approach,' he said.
These were originally started as a stop-gap measure for the holiday period, but proved so successful that they have been retained and Dell is considering placing them in new areas like airports, he said.