Jeff Jarvis of the blog BuzzMachine was a significant catalyst in revealing many customer service problems at Dell. He used his blog to describe his problems with his own Dell laptop, and many other customers joined in the conversation to describe their problems as well. Dell eventually launched their own blog, and after some initial wrong footing, started to really engage their customers using their blog. In addition the company now has a team of customer service people who actively engage people who have concerns about Dell products on customer blogs.
As a result of the changes I think Dell may now have one of the best corporate blogging practices in the country, and its mainly focused on customer service and product development. That focus is a lesson I think for many companies about how to approach corporate blogging. In my experience in reviewing the corporate blogging community some of the best blogging practices have involved companies that focused on product development and customer service. Which makes sense, as that’s what customers typically really want to discuss with companies, the product. Dell also launched Ideastorm, a site to encourage people to contribute ideas that the community would promote or not in a similar way to the Digg website. Dell recently announced that they would be coming out with machines with the Linux operating system based on the feedback they received from customers on the site.