When you run a business, there are times when things feel like they run themselves. Everything is going smoothly and it feels like the product flies off the shelf. Other times it’s not so easy. Maybe you had a bad incident with a customer that you’re trying to sort out and it feels like the whole town is on their side. Fortunately, no matter if your reputation takes a hit, you can build it back up. We have some things that you can do to help improve your reputation in both your community and your industry. These can also be applied if you’re a new business in your industry.
Go the Extra Mile
It doesn’t matter if your business runs on customer interactions or your work business-to-business, you’re going to have people who you work with every day. Let them know that you appreciate their business by more than a wave and a smile. Go the extra mile to show your appreciation by showing personal gratitude to each customer. If you have large clients who are heavily influencing your company’s growth, buy them business gifts to let them know that you’re aware of the impact they have on your business.
You can build your credibility by establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry. This can be done by writing a blog that provides useful information to those who are looking to learn more about your industry. These can also generate leads for your company, but the focus of the content should be to teach something new. Whether this is informational or instructional, it should provide some level of value to those who seek it out.
Respond to Customer Comments and Concerns
It’s normal for prospective customers to reach out for information before they decide to work with you. This can be in the form of an email, phone call, or social media post. However it comes in, don’t let it go unanswered. Get in touch with your customers to answer their questions, resolve their concerns, and educate them about your product or services. This is an excellent way to build your reputation with prospective customers and they already trust you.
Ask Customers to Leave Reviews
It’s becoming increasingly popular for customers to rely on the word of people you’ve worked with previously to help make their decisions. Customer reviews on sites like Google, Yelp, and Bing have shown to be an effective way for customers to find the best business to resolve whatever issue they have.
Encourage your customers to leave reviews if they had a good experience with you. Anytime you receive negative reviews, don’t hesitate to reach out to the customer to find out how you can make it right with them. Keep in mind that customers can always change their reviews so there’s a chance they could amend their review to include that you worked with them to make it right.
Following through on your word is a big piece to building a strong reputation. It’s common to offer guarantees, sales, and warranties to customers to give them peace of mind when doing business with you, but you do have to keep your side of the deal when it comes to these promises. Nothing will ruin your reputation faster than backing out of a guarantee that you’ve offered your customer. Always keep your word and follow through.
This could be included in following through, but it’s more of a general principle. Have integrity in everything you do. Don’t do what’s right simply because people are watching. Do the right thing with your business because it’s what should be done. This includes ethical business practices, dealing with customers honestly, and running your company in a way that makes people proud to do business with you. Having integrity can put your reputation above others in your industry even if they provide a better product or service.
Consistency is a crucial piece to developing your strong reputation. You want your customers to know that they’re going to get the same product from your business every time they work with you. For instance, if you install fences, make sure that you’re installing quality fences with every job so you gain a reputation as a quality fence builder.
Engage With Your Community
People love to see when companies are involved in the community. It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is, this goes for everybody. Get involved with charity events, community festivals, and nonprofit organizations. Do what you can to help out the community and people will take notice. Although, you should keep in mind people will be incredibly uncomfortable if you make a big scene about your involvement. Keep it quiet and do the part you showed up to do.