Dell’s Low Call Time Kills Customer Service

Beyond mere armchair bubble-piping on Dell’s eroding market share blah blah blah, a former Dell tech support rep lays out plain-spoken evidence for Dell’s declining concern for their customers. It’s got numbers, too.

When David first started doing Dell tech support, Average Handle Time (AHT) was 16 minutes, down 2-4 minutes from his previous Gateway position. Then the time began dropping to 14 and then to 12. No, the reps were not becoming more efficient. These numbers were mandated from the top. Supervisors wrote up tech reps failing to finish their calls under AHY. By the time David left, AHT was 10 minutes.

Says David, “You can’t help anyone in 10 minutes. By the time you get a customer’s info, verify address, phone number, etc, look up the system they have, and ask them what the problem is, half your time is already gone…”

David left the industry three years ago and, “can only imagine in my nightmares what it must be like now.”

Previously: Dell’s Business Model Hinges on Crappy CSRs


Edit Your Comment

  1. The_Truth says:

    He left 3 years ago?

    How are his comments even news? Seriously if he had left 3 months ago, fine I would believe him, but how do you not know that Dell hasent made changes? Maybe by outsourcing to India they can guarantee more time with the customer, which in turn results in less returned product?

    I dont like Dell, but throwing stuff out there, just to try and be controversial is a little weak guys.

  2. Ben Popken says:

    Two words: Dell Hell. The ineptitude of Dell’s customer support is legion. Are we to think that after a downward slide in amount of time alloted to customers all of a sudden they would bump it up? That’s not the way a business thinks. They would keep call time AND overhead, in the form of wages, down.

    When I called up recently, I myself contributed to this downward trend in call time. Some guy answered and it was so difficult to understand him through his accent that I hung up the phone and ended up figuring out the problem on my own.

  3. Just to be a jerk…

    I thought you guys used apples?

  4. Paul says:

    I have never felt hurried or rushed in any Dell tech support call. They’ve gone the extra mile for me every time I’ve ever phoned…I have a hard time believing this story reflects actual Dell policies, as most of my tech support calls have lasted 20-30, and I even once had one last more than an hour.

    In fact, every time I have ever needed Dell tech support, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how thorough the techs were willing to be, and how unconcerned they seemed to be with the length of the call.

  5. formerDelloid says:

    Ok, So I didn’t leave 3 months ago, would last October be sufficient? I worked as a level 2 XPS support rep for Dell for a little over a year. One of the more telling comments I heard frequently was “WOW you actually speak English!?!?” WHen the Customer was being handed off by my overseas level 1 counterparts.
    Aside from that comment I was pretty happy to help my customers in what ever way possible. I was so happy when DellConnect was introduced as a tool to help the techically challenged or self-described “computer-illerate”.
    So why did I leave? Because there was renewed focus on not only average handle time (it was at 12 minutes when I left) but also an unbearable focus on micro-management to the point of being downgraded on observed evaluations for taking too long on a hold or laughing (with the customer) at something truly funny that the customer said.
    It’s one thing to be an experienced telephone tech support pro and know how to get the customer issue resolved, rather than merely following written script and following a set troubleshooting guide which is the case with an overseas script monkey. BTW I also spent a number of years with Gateway tech support when we were considered the best in the industry and absolutely loved my job! Why? because the focus was on getting the customer fixed RIGHT the first time and AHT be damned.
    Where am I now? With a large “connectivity” provider, and having been there less than a year I can see that I will be leaving there as well because of the recent shift in focus to lowering AHT…..