Are you aware of how your customers view your business? Beyond your customers, you must also know how current and prospective employees feel about your business. Your reputation speaks volumes about your business before people have any interaction with your employees. A good reputation helps you attract opportunities that you least expected. A bad reputation ensures that good opportunities never come your way. That is the power of a reputation.
It is safe to say that your business’s reputation is a pretty big deal. It can be the cause of your success or your failure. Therefore, you need to be sure that you are doing everything in your power to ensure that your business’s reputation remains as pristine as possible.
If you are currently trying to find the right ways to boost your business’s reputation, follow the advice provided in this article. This information will help to ensure that you build a reputation that helps transform your business to produce better results.
How to build a stellar business reputation
You can build an impeccable reputation over 20 years, and ruin it within five minutes, over a decision. This can be devastating, but it happens to many businesses every single year. Uber and Papa Johns, among other global business, all forced their founders out because their behavior was detrimental to the businesses they started. This goes to show you that your status does not make you immune from the consequences produced by your actions.
Therefore, you must know the steps it takes to build and keep a strong reputation for the remainder of your business’s existence.
1. You must go the extra mile for both customers and employees
It is very important that you do what it takes to exceed expectations. When so many people are doing the bare minimum, you must step up and go the extra mile that is less traveled. Your reputation may depend on such efforts sometime in the future.
Your interactions with those within and outside your business speak volumes for your reputation. This demonstrates the type of character that is attributed to your business. Is your business trustworthy, reliable, and kind? Or is it cold, unpredictable, and disrespectful? You do not want your business to be viewed as one that should be avoided at all costs.
If you want to go the extra mile for your customers, you can start by customizing their shopping experience to be more personal to their taste. The experience that your customers have with your business is just as important as pricing and product quality, if not more important. This helps to set your brand apart from competitors that offer similar products and/ or services as you. In fact, 44% of consumers have stated that a personalized shopping experience would make them loyal to that particular brand.
Do not look at going the extra mile for your customers as a recent trend, that just started becoming popular. The businesses that you know today, who have cult-like, loyal customers, have been following this approach for a very long time. These businesses understood doing a little more than their competitors would help them gain a competitive advantage. This is what separates good businesses from great businesses. This is why you must treat your customers with respect and understanding. Do not rush them away when they bring an issue to you. Listen to their problems and find a way to produce a solution they will be very happy with. You can also create a loyalty program for the customers who purchase from you on a consistent basis. It is all about acknowledging your customers for their continued patronage and support.
Do not become complacent if you are currently going the extra mile for your customers. You will quickly find that you lose customers for thinking you do not have to continually provide excellent service. Customer service that is inconsistent can lead to frustrated customers, who become tired of trying to guess what type service they will get that day.
But you cannot just have a great reputation when it comes to your customers. Yes, they are important, but your employees are just as important when it comes to the success of your business. If you are not seen as a good employer, it can make people avoid applying to work for your company.
If you treat your employees like crap, your customers will take notice of your behavior. Also, your customer service will be a reflection of poorly treated employees. You can only keep your customers for so long with pricing and discounts, but they will eventually seek out another provider if your customer service is terrible. This is because mistreated employees will take their frustration out on your customers.
You can avoid this type of scenario from developing by choosing to give your employees freedom, instead of micromanaging them. Choose to treat them with respect, listen to their opinions, and reward them for their hard work. Be sure to thank them, and let them know they are appreciated.
Related Article: The 10 rules of great customer service
2. Encourage your customers to leave reviews
Reviews of your business matter. In fact, 86 % of consumers read reviews before deciding whether to spend their money with a particular business. Also, take into account that 57% of consumers will only consider a business if it has at least a four-star rating. So if your business rating is three stars or less, most customers are choosing to ignore your business.
If you want to boost your business’s reputation, you need to ask your customers to leave reviews. Reviews are needed to both legitimize your company and identify you as a trustworthy business. Therefore, customer reviews can be used to help you attract more customer. It is basically free marketing!
You can ask your customers to review your business after they have made a purchase, or when you send them a follow-up email. Be sure to provide them with some type of incentive, to encourage them to follow through on providing a review of your business.
3. Respond to negativity in public and in private
Unfortunately, you will have to deal with negativity as a business owner. You cannot make everyone happy, and they will be sure to voice their displeasure with you as a result. But, this does not mean that you have to be nasty to get back at these types of people. Doing so will only hurt your business’s reputation.
Disgruntled customers will leave negative reviews, and even competing businesses. You will have to respond to these comments so that potential customers can see how you handle these types of situations. This is because 89% of consumers read how a business responds to its reviews. This is an opportunity for you to set the record straight, for everyone to see.
Be sure to be humble when you are responding to negative reviews. Offer a solution that leads to a positive resolution. Communicate that the issue will not happen again, and you apologize for any inconvenience they experienced. Do not try to argue with them, because doing so will only make you look bad, not them. You should also reach out privately to the individual who left the negative review. You should send them an email or give them a call, to have a conversation between just the two of you. You want to learn how the situation developed, and how it can be handled to produce a happy resolution.
Related Article: 5 lessons for entrepreneurs to learn
4. Be consistent
As a business owner, you have an obligation to provide your customers with the best service possible. Therefore, you need to aim at providing excellent customer service on a consistent basis. Your customers need to know that they can always expect the best from your business.
What can you do to improve your customer service? The tips provided in this article can help you create a customer service strategy that elevates your business among the consumers, leading to you experiencing a very happy and enthusiastic customer base.
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