Dell Inc.’s Customer Mindset Program

Dell believed it needed brand champions who truly believed in the organizational objectives, which they then could convey to customers with sincerity.

Edited by Margery Weinstein

The Dell Brand team conducted extensive research that showed customers wanted an exceptional experience, where they personally connected with Dell employees who listened to them and understood how they felt. Dell notes: “Behavioral and cultural issues are some of the biggest challenges faced by global organizations, and most struggle to help their teams learn how to emotionally connect with their customers on the right level.” To address this gap, Dell’s Consumer/Small-Medium-Business Sales Training team partnered with the company’s Services training team to implement a training solution to improve the customer Net Promoter Score (NPS) to align with the following components of Dell’s strategy:

  • Leadership Imperative Initiative
  • Dell Brand
  • Driving Strong Customer Experience

To improve NPS, Dell believed it needed brand champions who truly believed in the organizational objectives, which they then could convey to customers with sincerity. This sparked the need for a comprehensive one-day, face-to-face training program developed in conjunction with an external vendor, Natural Training Company.


Delegates would learn to:

  • Define and feel empathy for the customer.
  • Understand how to use the power of empathy to advantage.
  • Identify where sales reps can make a greater mindset connection with the customer.
  • Start reconnecting more with the Dell brand.
  • Set individual objectives and commitments for change.


To tie all of these elements together, each objective was broken into modules and a link between them established what Dell called the “red thread”:

Virus Game:Illustrates how to demonstrate empathy for the customer.

Tea’s Story:Shows how such empathy aided a Dell customer.

Connecting Communication:Defines customer engagement behaviors and relates those behaviors to customer interactions.

Project Reconnect:Provides delegates with the opportunity to make their own Dell brand connection.

Time Capsule:Brings it all together, committing learners to the changes they will make for the future.


The program was delivered jointly by internal and external training vendors, deploying globally to 17,000 employees across 26 sites in eight languages.


Before training, success criteria were put in place based on the training industry standard of the Kirkpatrick Model and Phillips ROI.

• Satisfaction and Learning: Measured through an online survey, sent to learners after training with results consolidated into four categories:

Recommend training: 92 percent

Trainer rating: 92 percent

Good blend of theory and practical exercise: 95 percent

Relevance to role: 92 percent

• Impact and Results: Measured through selection of NPS results already in place. The question most relevant to use was specifically on communication, as this was the one most affected by training. This was measured on both Dell’s support organization and its customer organization.

Customer Support Question: “Please rate your overall satisfaction with the clarity of your Dell Customer Support representative’s verbal/written communication.”

Results: +5 percent improvement in communication NPS score for CSMB Support (31 percent pre-training; 36 percent post-training).

Sales Organization Question: “Please rate your Dell sales representative’s ability to communicate at your level of expertise.”

Results: +11 percent improvement in communication NPS score for CSMB Sales (36 percent pre-training; 47 percent post-training).

HAVE INPUT OR TIPS on this topic? If so, send them our way in an e-mail to with the subject line “Dell,” and we’ll try to include your advice in an upcoming edition of the Training Top 125 Best Practices/Executive Exchange e-newsletter.

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