If only it were so simple that a business could succeed off the merits of its services alone. Alas, that’s not the case. As a society, we are almost single-mindedly obsessed with public image. So as a business, you need to put as much care into yours. There are a lot of ways your reputation can suffer, so there are a lot of ways you need to protect and build on it. Keep reading to find out some of those methods.
We’ll start with the simplest of concepts, first. You have to be at least somewhat worth that good reputation. People can see through marketing talk easier than you think. Build your business on good, ethical practices. Act quickly on any customer complaints you got. There will always be detractors, but there will be plenty more people willing to change their mind on a business. Work to win yourself some good PR by getting more involved with the community. Local charities and campaigns need a lot of help. Being part of that help can build a solid base for a socially responsible reputation.
Distinguish your brand
If people trust that a business is inherently good, then the power of that business’s brand is going to be a lot more convincing. So put work into establishing a brand that communicates what’s good for your reputation. Professionalism, attention to detail and responsibility are some good aspects to consider. Distill what makes your services or products unique to add more value to it. Tell the story of why your company exists and what motivates your team every day. Www.dailyworth.com recommends that you be genuine, be emphatic and be creative. If you want a good reputation, you need to stand out for good reasons.
Stand out from your rivals
You also need to stand out in comparison to all the other big fish in the pond. Use more than just your values and unique selling proposition to stand out. Achieve total business domination by learning from others sharing the market with you. Look at their services as well as their marketing efforts. Adapt the good points with enough change to be distinguishing. Go the total opposite route of what clearly isn’t working for them. Set yourself up not only as another service but the service for those who want more than what’s already on offer.
Be more visible
There’s nothing worse for a business than not being talked about. So you have to take what opportunity you can to start the conversation. Bringing more visitors to your site through search engine optimization and using landing pages is a start. Building helpful content and distributing it through blogs and social media is another step. But you need to step outside the virtual world as well. Make real flesh and blood appearances. Attend trade shows and even host events of your own. Shake hands with people and dazzle them. Win them over. Be more visible and make more of an impact on the market. That will certainly get them talking.
Take the data-driven approach
As far as the virtual world is concerned, however, it has a lot to offer. Particularly in terms of data. Nowadays, it’s even possible to manage your reputation online. Www.chatmeter.com is just one example of how you can do it. How you can look at the kind of traffic and responses you’re getting, narrowing it down to different local areas. You can see where you’re doing well and where you need to pick up the pace. You can even find out how much more exposure and work you need to get your reputation up to snuff.
Data isn’t the only thing that’s going to help you improve, however. You need to get the human side of the story. You need to talk to your customers. Follow up after purchases, not only to thank them but to ask about their experience as well. Make it clear that you value their opinion. Tell them you want them to help you make it easier to do business with you. People like having their opinion heard. They can also help you identify problems from a perspective you might have missed so far. You can even incentivize surveys by offering discounts on the next purchase, adding a bit of goodwill to the process.
You’re going to have customers who will be very happy to speak their mind even without being asked to. Setting up an online support center or support desk with services like www.desk.com gives them the platform to do that. It also publicly displays your willingness to hear problems and help solve them. You can even take the questions that matter the most to them and make case studies out of them. Then you’re not only hearing and solving problems. You’re also showing the efforts you’re willing to go to improve your customer experience. The customer experience is what will make the strongest impact on your reputation in the end.
Prioritize the happiest customers
Yes, the customer experience is what can make or break a business’s reputation. As well as working to improve that experience, you should be presenting it in the best possible light. Get in touch with the happiest of your customers. The people who are already willing to talk about it. Utilize them for good word-of-mouth. Ask them to get involved in a referral system or even to provide testimonials. Create converts and ambassadors out of your customers. Similarly, in your marketing material, focus on positive social proof. The most obvious example is not to focus on the people who aren’t using your services, but just how many people are. The power of positive numbers has a big influence on people. If you have it at hand, use it.
Building a better reputation isn’t just about acting on information. It’s about the act of gathering it, as well. A company that shows an ear open to critique and genuine feedback is a company more people will trust. So make your efforts public. Your customers will appreciate you for it.by