The following Wiki Editing Tips for Business Owners will help you ensure that your use of the Yuba-Sutter Wiki makes a good impression on your customers. They have been developed with the benefit of many years of experience on the far more active Davis Wiki, which lists similar tips on its Welcome to the Wiki page.
1. It's generally best to use your real name or otherwise acknowledge which business you own. Using a pseudonym that obscures the fact that you own a specific business could lead to you being caught in an embarrassing act of sockpuppetry. In particular, posing as one of your own customers to post a positive review of your own business will not make you look good. (Remember, all editors' IP addresses are recorded with every edit they make, so your real identity can be easily detected.) However, don't use your business name as your username, because that could cause every edit you make to be misinterpreted as an official statement of your business. You should want your wiki edits to be recognized as statements from you as an individual person, not as statements from your business, and therefore you should want them associated with your real name.
2. Please understand that the wiki page about your business belongs to the entire community, not just to you. Therefore, the page about your business should be written in the third person rather than the first person ("they offer" instead of "we offer"). You're welcome to post information about the products or services your business provides—including special offers—but you should avoid statements of opinion, such as "This is the best business in town!" Customers may later leave comments declaring your business to be the best business in town, and that's fine—but statements like that don't belong in the main body of the entry about your business. WikiSpot is nonprofit and is not intended to host free advertising.
3. It's very likely that not every customer in town thinks your business is the best business in town. You may receive some negative reviews. Don't worry too much about this. Take a deep breath—customers sometimes forget that business owners have feelings and write things that are much harsher than those same customers would be willing to say in person. One thing that can be done is to include the following code right before the [[Comments]] macro: [[Include(AboutReviews)]]. Another macro that has been developed is the HIPAA Restrictions macro that is placed on any business listing for a medical professional that explains why HIPAA restricts how a doctor or medical professional can comment on who their patients are.
4. You can use the wiki to engage your customers in a productive dialog that will demonstrate your customer service to everyone who reads the page about your business. If you receive a negative review, try seeing it as an opportunity to smooth things over with your disgruntled customer and perhaps win back his or her loyalty—or even if you don't win back this particular customer's loyalty, you can at least be publicly seen to have made reasonable efforts at doing so.
5. The wiki is a great place to explain policies that customers may not be familiar with. For example, the restaurant guide, shopping guide, and tipping pages can be used to illustrate a few policies from an industry standpoint.
6. Both you and your customers have important things to say, so don't remove their comments. All edits remain in the page history, so simply removing them will appear to be an attempt to cover up problems. Instead, leave a friendly reply to explain or offer to resolve any problems. (Also, comments can be archived—moved to a BusinessName/Archive page—after a community discussion determines that they are too old to be very relevant anymore. Don't archive them yourself, but click on the "Talk" icon at the top of your business's page and note your concern that old comments may be given too much prominence compared to more recent reviews. The wiki isn't anti-business, but we are pro-consumer and need your input to help us achieve a good balance.
7. Sometimes people may post things about your business that just aren't true. In all likelihood, these same people were saying the same untrue things about your business on the streets before this wiki ever existed. You just never had a chance to hear them before. Instead of these stories being whispered behind your back, you now have an opportunity to address any rumors, bizarre anecdotes, or outright lies floating around the Yuba-Sutter area. Keep in mind that simply trying to delete the stories from the wiki won't remove them the casual sidewalk and workplace conversations that spread such rumors; in fact, trying to delete them sometimes increases people's suspicions that such things may be true and that you are trying to hide something. While it can be frustrating to read incorrect information, patiently addressing your customers' comments or clarifying what happened in a misrepresented incident gives you an opportunity to respond to the things people are saying about your business on the streets of Yuba and Sutter Counties.