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Honestly, with social media exploding over the past few years and customers sharing more feedback than ever about the products and services they interface with you can’t afford not to have somebody doing Online Reputation Management if you sell products or services.
Granted smaller companies and bloggers have limited budgets and pretty much have to rely on things like Google Alerts and manual queries to find out what is being said and try to get on top of potential issues, misinformation.
I have seen numerous WordPress plugin purveyors I work with have negative feedback left on various blogs and Facebook channels and I never see or hear a reply from the company or owner of said products so I wonder if they ever learned about the feedback or attempted to address it.
Nothing is worse than no response at all, leaving a customer feeling ignored or unimportant is a sure fire way to lose business and eventually have reputation damage that will be very costly to recover from.
It is of the utmost importance that if you offer out products or services you make sure you do some Online Reputation Management to make sure you can respond to customers or users who may speak negatively about your product or brand so that you can interface with them and clear up misconception or confusions. It also may be a good way to see who is positively promoting your products or services and possibly offer some reward or incentive to try new products/services as a thank you for being a loyal customer as well.