Dell wants to use Google+ Hangouts for customer service

17 Comments

Credit: Dell

Dell (s DELL) could soon use Google’s (s GOOG) new group video chat platform Google+ Hangouts as an alternative to the traditional customer service call, according to the company’s chairman and CEO, Michael Dell.

Hangouts has been hailed as the next big killer app, and Michael Dell is obviously a fan as well. He’s used the video chat more than a dozen times since he joined Google+ in early July, and this Sunday, he posted the following question on Google+:

I am thinking about hangouts for business. Would you like to be able to connect with your Dell service and sale teams via video directly from Dell.com?

The reaction to his post was overwhelmingly positive, with hundreds of comments agreeing that this would be a good idea for Dell. And the idea is indeed intriguing: Some customer service needs are very similar, so having a service representative talk to a small group of customers at the same time could be more economical than the traditional one-on-one call. Using video could also humanize tech support, and group settings could even initiate self-help between customers.

One should note that Dell’s idea of launching a Hangouts session directly from Dell.com isn’t currently possible; Google+ is still invite-only, and Hangouts can only be started or joined from within the network. Google also hasn’t opened its social network for businesses yet, but the company is currently evaluating how to integrate brands and businesses into Google+.

Customer service has been one of the applications that has made Twitter attractive to companies like Comcast. (s CMCSA) Having the ability to directly talk to customers via group video chat could be the next step for many of these companies as they look for ways to take customer service beyond the traditional call-center script.

17 Comments

Doris

I thinks using video chat for customer service is a great idea. Like someone said you can see the technician or the salesperson your are speaking with. This feature can be used for many more things as well.

jdormont

There are clearly a lot of folks who agree that G+ for the enterprise would be a good idea, myself included. The possibilities of hangouts, circles, etc. are pretty astounding. But here’s a question for discussion: if G+ goes to the Enterprise, what other features would you like to see and how would you want it to integrate with the rest of Google Apps? For instance,many platforms these days spend a lot of time creating the sweet-spot “home page” where you get your feeds, RSS, docs, and wiki page updates all in one place. Does G+ stand alone, or should we integrate it more fully?

For other thoughts on G+: http://wp.me/p1CWCg-30

Anand Mistry

It’s really great idea. I am from India. I can see that since last 3 years Dell’s products are rocking and performing well in market. Dell compete such technology giant like HP, LG, HCL and some local brands. Why Dell is doing well? It’s due to great customer service and creative ideas to make customers happy. I am Dell customer and very happy with Dell product and services. Now, It’s boom with Google hangout. Customer can provide real time issues to Dell customer support executive. I hope Dell will jump one step more in market with help of this idea. Is it for India also?

Pdawg20

I see a lot of uses in the conferencing approach in training, etc. But in tech support where a user calls a help desk, the idea is to get it done as fast and cheaply as possible. The whole model needs to change.

Khaled

Watch-out Logitech new acquisition for Mirial announced yesterday with many video calling application like Video Contact Service

Logitech going big into video communication for Enterprise, SMB, PC, TV & Mobile Devices.

Logitech Acquired in last three
SightSpeed, Provider of Internet Video Communications

Agam Panwar

I believe using “hangout” would be a better option than Facebook Pages – Hangout is fast and easy, in my opinion. All the best Mr. Dell

Peter Mugi

Great for online computer training / product introduction. Sometimes little problems with the computer could be solved easily by a brief talk. Far better than emails.

RX-8

cooperation between Dell with google which is very impressive, hopefully it can make a lot of positive reaction from most customers.

Kevin

Although good idea, Dell is going to have to wait, there’s currently no option for google apps for business to be incorporated in google plus (although it’s been promised).

Pdawg20

So how do you hangout with the tech guy when your computer has issues? Maybe on your iPad?

Jon @ FreshNetworks

That issue crossed my mind too, but I expect it to be less of an issue in the future – Dell are smart here by again demonstrating an innovative use of social media.

As you say, iPads, other computers and eventually smartphones will be great for this sort of customer support in the future – the ability to clearly display the problem and solution will surely make the experience for both parties much smoother.

I like that they are also thinking about group self-help, it’ll be interesting to see what ideas other brands have for using Google+’s features.

Bhaskar

This spells big trouble for startups which are focused on social media based customer service apps. Google hangout, social networking and search & knowledge management could help solidify its position as a leader in the small business market.

Christine Howell

It occurred to me the other day how ironic it is that the newest social media platform could possibly INCREASE face to face interaction. It seems like the days of people hiding behind a name and picture will eventually be just a memory. Why “chat” when we can “hangout”? It will certainly be interesting to see, especially its implications for B2C interaction. Just a little tidbit about other possible effects of Google+ http://www.goldlasso.com/learning-center/the-from-line-blog/entry/trend-the-second-wave-of-social-email-is-coming

Lucian Armasu

Indeed. If Facebook was about getting people to show their personality through photos, I think Google+ will be all about getting people to show it directly through video, in a much more realistic way, and also to unite people in groups, which is what “social” is all about.

Mark Samuel

Micheal dell is an innovator, he sure knows how to take his business to the heights! its an excellent idea. You can actually see the tech you are speaking to..

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