It’s not unusual to see product reviews on a product site of a manufacturer. We’re seen this for years. Usually, we’ll find a few snippets of information, or a quote that (perhaps) was pulled out of context to show a product in its best light.
But what Sun has done goes steps beyond. These really aren’t "reviews" per se. Sun called these pieces "perspectives," but what they really represent is the ambient conversation that is going on around their products.
On Sun’s product pages, they’ve included a tab called "Perspectives," which pulls content from both Sun’s over 3,200 employee blogs, but also from across the web at large.
(These examples are pulled from the Sun X4200 product page at: http://www.sun.com/servers/entry/x4200/product-blog.xml?st=2)
There are plenty of posts about specs and feeds and speeds, but now let’s check out some of the flow that is coming into this product page.
In particular, that last link goes offsite to here, a site called cuddletech.
The kneejerk reaction is "why on EARTH" would Sun link from its site to a customer site that contains paragraphs like:
"I want X4100’s, NOT M2 BULLSHIT. I want lots of them and I want
them quickly. I want a SunSolve worth paying for. I want a docs.sun.com
that has been updated and more easily navigated than what we had 5
years ago. And most of all, I don’t want to keep hearing that Dell
doesn’t have these problems!!!"
Why would Sun link there? Because that’s where the conversation is happening, and it’s where the "live web" part of the customer experience is being documented, in real time, by a passionate customer.
A prospective customer will trip across the Sun page, go over to the diatribe, and then find the following:
"UPDATE2: I’m getting an absolute flood of mails from people
expressing the same frustrations that I mention and that we see in the
comments here. Sun Executives are aware of this and responded
immediately from the very top down. Sun may have its problems, but one
thing that I’ve always found to be true is that they are forthright,
honest, and responsive. I’m extremely appreciative of Sun’s
understanding and response. Remember, they can’t change if we don’t
make our demands known! Just switching to Dell doesn’t send a clear
message unless you tell them why you’re switching to Dell. And what’s clear is we don’t want to buy Dell, but rather people feel they don’t have a choice. But we do! Sun is our company! Let’s help it be successful and drive it towards excellence. Remember,
despite it all we’ve got one hell of a base to build on!"
And then they would find the problem resolution, and a recognition of the process.
"UPDATE5: Wes Adams, Corporate Account Manager, Sun Enterprise
Sales Group, has helped us overcome our supply issues helping to push
through pending orders that previously were 3 weeks away, now the
system will be in our VAR’s warehouse on Monday morning at the latest.
We’re very pleased and appreciative.
I want to thank John Fowler, Andy Currid, Wes Adams, Johnathan Schwartz
and everyone at Sun for being so responsive to my inquires and taking
all of them very seriously."
Good on ya, Sun. Nice job, both on the willingness to open up, as well as the handling of the particular customer issue.
(hat tip: skrocki’s weblog)