Last week I was at Dell World 2012, the company’s annual customer and partner conference, attended by over 6,200 people from around the world in Austin, Texas. I was given a press pass by Dell and was able to chat with company executives about the latest iniatives in social business and customer experience. I also was a panelist for two panels in the Social Networking Neighborhood on the Expo floor. It was a packed three days and here’s what I took away:
- It’s surprising that the 28-year old company has never had a user conference until recently.This is only the 2nd time Dell has held this conference, with the first time being last year with a much smaller audience.
- The company knows that social is everyone’s job and has put many programs in place to get employees engaged. Dell has an impressive program for getting employees trained in social. Liz Bullock, who leads Dell’s Social Media and Communities (SMaC) University, says over 7,500 employees have been certified in social business courses. One program pairs 150 Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in the company with mentors who will help them learn how to publish and and engage audiences on social sites.
- Ideastorm, the website where Dell customers can submit ideas to improve the company’s products and services, is still going strong. Over 18,323 ideas have been submitted since 2007 and over 522 of them have been implemented. Cy Jervis, a Dell customer and the top contributor to the site, was hired in 2011 to run Ideastorm for Dell.
- Dell has an amazing social media analytics tool to measure the impact of the company’s social efforts. This tool measures an internal Social Net Advocacy (SNA) score overall, by product, and other business areas by looking at insights gathered from online conversations, examining sentiment, influence and other factors. The idea is that it can be used by Dell business managers for decision making. I got a demo by Rajiv Narang, Executive Director Marketing Decision Sciences and Social Media Analytics at Dell. It is amazing and I can imagine that if it was sold on the market, other companies would love to buy it.
- Dell has been using the Net Promoter Score (NPS) to measure customer advocacy for the last three years. According to Bobbi Dangerfield, Dell’s VP of Commercial Sales Operations, the company is now able to show that improvements in NPS score directly tie to revenue growth (which is what Bain’s research behind NPS is all about). Employees’ peferformance plans are all linked to achievlng annual customer NPS goals.
- Dell is also using Employee NPS (eNPS), to measure employee advocacy and engagement.The company has built its people stragegy around their eNPS efforts and managers are held accountable for meeting departmental eNPS goals.
- Bill Clinton loves to talk. The President was a keynote speaker. He was almost an hour late and went way over his time limit. But he, as you already know, is a magnificant speaker and talked about how technology has aided his work with this Clinton Global Initiative, among many other topics.
- Camp Freddy rocks. Dell had the band kick off the opening party at the Austin City Limit’s Moody Theater in downtown Austin. I had no idea who the band was until I saw the likes of these guys take the stage: Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers), Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots), Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray), Fred Durst (Lim Bizkit), Matt Sorum (Guns N’ Roses) and Billy Morrison (The Cult). Holy crap! Rock all-stars covering the best head-banging rock songs in history. I’m not a rock chick (Lady Gaga is more my style : ) but this concert rocked my socks off. Wow.
Dell spared no expense and put on a terrific conference for its customers and partners. Very impressed with the event as well as what the company is doing with social media and customer and employee advocacy.
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