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Dell continues to deliver on the promises it has made to its customers and to #DellCAP members. I write this one day after receiving a new Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook to review, so bear this in mind as you read. I am currently happily and busily working on both a MacPro and an older Dell XPS so I will be interested to see how the XPS 13 Ultrabook performs.

Why me? And what’s #DellCAP?

In June of 2010 I was invited to become part of Dell’s inaugural Customer Advisory Panel (DellCAP) and flown in to Austin for a two-day panel. The meetings were divided into two groups: the first were the unhappy customers, the second were the evangelists. The meetings were productive working sessions and most of us left feeling that our input had been heard. We were skeptical that things would change, but hopeful.

Last year we were invited back to Austin for an update. We had the opportunity to see how our suggestions had been implemented and to preview some of the new directions in marketing and social media and to learn about new products. We also had an impromptu meeting with Michael Dell himself. I was impressed with him. I enjoyed hearing him answer questions off-the-cuff and talk about future directions for the company.image of 2011-DellCAP-group-photo

We were taken on a tour of social media listening command center, which is where I lost my heart. I found it exciting and inspiring to see the larger example of what can be done when a company of Dell’s size embraces social media and integrates it into the fabric of its operations. We had a chance, again, to provide input and to ask Dell to continue to use us, to allow us to help them continue to improve the products and services. They promised they would do so. And, they are doing exactly that.

Since the first DellCAP panels, the company has expanded its efforts to meet with customers and really listen to the feedback. They have taken the Dell CAP days to Germany and China. This newest outreach, on behalf of a specific product, is a change. One that I am delighted to help with.

I am not a geek (more of a geek-wannabe) and so what I see in a computer will differ from what many of the others reviewing this product will discuss. However, I live and breathe with my laptop by my side and am representative of a particular market segment (yep, women of a certain age, that’s us) and I am very sensitive to the marketing aspects of this exercise.

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2011 DellCAP participants Ed Tittel, Claire Celsi, Allen Mireles and Michelle Brigman., courtesy of Dell

Imagine, really listening to customers and making changes based on their input? Incredible concept (I say that only partly sarcastically) and a demonstration of what can be done in today’s uber-connected world.

 

 

Creating a fan-centric company, as Dell is in the process of doing, is a solid example of what social business can look like.

What fun! Stay tuned for further updates. I only unpacked the little beauty last night and it sits beside me gleaming in silver splendor. Thank you Dell for this opportunity. I look forward to exploring the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook.