Your Customers And Competitors May Be Listening

What You Say Online May Damage Your Credibility

As I write on this quite often, blogs are a powerful tool to enable you to rapidly publish content about you and your company. If done well, they can add tremendous credibility for your organization and create an online dialog between you and your customers. However, I would also like to caution you that if in the wrong hands, blogs might become a competitive advantage for your competitors.

We use Constant Contact as our email distribution engine when electronically delivering our clients’ newsletters and ours. We find it easy to use, extremely stable and it generates good successful results. While reviewing newsletter services available from other companies, I came across an interesting company by the name of iContact. When visiting their blog, I was surprised to read their own post from 1/22/08 and 1/28/08 reporting serious issues with their products and how they fixed it. As an Internet and software development company, I do believe in taking action, communicating with customers and being responsible when software defects are discovered. However, I do not find this public open admission to be a good business practice. It’s one thing to contact and notify the customers affected, let them know of the issues and how you have taken care of it now and for the future. It’s another to openly broadcast this message on your blog, scare away potential new customers or even existing ones and give your competitors great research ammunition to use against you.

(Screens capture from iContact blog. click on images to enlarge):

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