As a member of the press, I have had mixed experiences with companies looking for me to cover them. Quite often, a company sending me their products for review will be responsive if I have technical difficulties due to a product malfunction of some kind such as buggy firmware. This is smart business. Not all companies do this mind you. Some will just “send it and forget it” which is pretty stupid because a single poor review can cause sales to decrease dramatically and as a reviewer my goal is to give my honest feedback to my readers.
So when I read an article titled One Way Apple Makes Sure It Gets Favorable Reviews From David Pogue detailing how Cupertino puts a high priority on making sure David Pogue and Walt Mossberg have a good experience when they try new Apple products, I didn’t think there was anything wrong with the practice. Specifically, an Apple engineer was assigned the task of going through the logs of Pogue’s Apple TV which apparently had some issues. Again… A smart practice – they should do this with every reviewer out there… As should every company.
To not take the press seriously is just stupid. Moreover, you have to hope the drive for product perfection doesn’t stop with reviewers but for every company it should continue on to customers as well – ensuring everyone has a great experience. After all, social media has enabled every customer to potentially write damning reviews which millions can see.
So yes, every customer is a reviewer – that’s the new reality companies need to take into account.