I can’t speak for Apple, but I can give you Dell’s perspective. Media coverage isn’t the real issue—it’s really about our customers’ experience when they deal with Dell. No question that incidents of poor customer service resulted in bad PR for us. And it wasn’t just Jeff Jarvis. Could we have handled that situation better than we did? You bet. For us, there wasn’t an arbitrary tipping point—things were bad so we’ve tried to fix them and will continue to do so. In several of her posts, Laura has outlined Dell’s ongoing efforts and investments to improve our customers’ experience when they need to contact us.
Beyond that, we’ve created a team to find customers needing assistance in the blogosphere, entered Second Life, recently re-vamped the Dell Community Forum and have plans to offer more options for customers to provide feedback at CES and beyond.
We are making efforts to be more forthcoming. We entered the blogosphere in part to take on negative issues. Will we make more mistakes along the way? Sure, but we are listening and learning as we go. In fact, the blog is all about those conversations, and it’s why I’m recognizing this debate that goes on about and around us.
While there isn’t a silver bullet, all these vehicles have the potential to strengthen our direct relationship with customers. We think this dialog is important and we’ll continue down that path.