Is it Time to Shift Advertising Budgets to Customer Service?

Reuters is reporting that Dell will invest “hundreds of millions” of dollars on a new advertising campaign to reposition its products as chic rather than cheap.

Business Insider’s Jay Yarrow had a better idea: “Put that money into customer service instead.”

Evidently, many of Jay’s readers think so, too, with one calling Dell’s offshore service centers “utterly clueless, grossly incompetent and ineffective.”

I wonder if there isn’t a revolutionary idea hiding in that hyperbole: What if companies shifted a major chunk of their advertising budgets into providing better customer service instead?

Given the increasing power of word of mouth and social media, the budget reallocation might generate a lot more than buzz—it could generate a lot more business.