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There are still those businesses that, despite evidence to the contrary, believe that an online presence will open them up to more harm than good. That having an online persona will open them up to the negative as well as the positive in terms of what their customers and competitors have to say.
The key point to remember is that people will say things about you online whether you are there yourself or not. The old adage was that if someone had a good experience with a company they would tell one person, but for a bad one they would tell three. People now increasingly take to their keyboards, meaning that a bad experience could be seen instead by hundreds of people and turn into a PR crisis. The opposite is also true however as people are also keen to recommend businesses they have had a good transaction with online. Whichever is the case, it is crucial for you to be there too. Your customers are there and so should you be.
Be there to catch and inflate praise. Use direct quotes from customers and share them in arenas key to your business to maximise exposure of good work that you have done, because it’s okay to be proud. Sharing customer feedback is much less self righteous than just shouting about how great your business is, and therefore preferable to potential customers.
Equally, be there to catch negatives. A company that continues its customer service online, maybe beyond the completion of a transaction, is one that people will deem helpful and trust worthy. Online is the best platform to show the public you make your best efforts to please and deliver. Being seen to rectify or at least empathise with a problem will help widen customer base despite the initial negative feedback.