Perhaps Dell should get an award for superior CRM in launching a new tablet computer, the Latitude XT. After all, the company released the news on its blog and allowed potential customers to absolutely skewer it. The reason the company is being marinated and ready to grill has to do with the price of the new portable computer which many commenters say is a full $1,000 more than the competition.
Here is an excerpt from commenter named Manifold:
I’d like to add a few more question and exclamation marks there, but I’ll refrain.Dell, you’ve come all this way, after continual delays and disappointments, and after so much smack talk (the whole sawing tablets in half business), you end the race by just shooting yourself in the foot.$2500 STARTING price…What’s that gonna get me?A 1GHz single core processor, a gig of RAM, 40GB 4200 RPM HDD, 802.11a/g, MAYBE bluetooth…I have a Dell 700M with 1.6GHz Pentium, 1GB RAM, 60GB HDD, 802.11 a/g, and I bought it 3 years ago for $999 (worth about $500 today). Are you telling me that 3 years later you’re putting worse specs in a machine, and charging $2000 premium for tablet functionality?Give me a BREAK.This is on the heals of Toshiba, who announced today a tablet that is not only has better base and fully loaded specs, has pen and touch capabilities as well, but also is a full GRAND cheaper.Let me say it again just to emphasize: One THOUSAND dollars cheaper. It’s slightly larger, and of course doesn’t have multitouch, but is that extra cubic inch of volume and half pound of weight worth a thousand dollars to me Dell?
I think it is admirable that Dell is allowing its website to be a forum for all of this criticism. This is certainly better than allowing this content to live somewhere where its competition can brand around the messaging.
In short, this sort of interaction between companies and potential customers is what the internet is all about.
Other companies should learn from Dell.
So at the end of the day the question worth asking is doesn’t negative publicity help a company? Perhaps it does as Dell is getting a lot of internet ink due to this interaction. In the end, perhaps commenter Jim says it best:
“I thought only Apple could get away with a 50% premium over the competition.”