In the world of online business, competition to secure a customer over your competitors is tough.
There are a multitude of ways you can enhance your business over your competitors, but one key element that will either clinch the sale or deter the customer will be your reputation as a business. In fact, recent surveys suggest that the company’s reputation is the most valuable element of the business.
With your digital footprint almost impossible to erase, you have to be incredibly careful about how you go about business and equally how you respond to customer enquiries or complaints.
Business owners will know how difficult it is to build a brand. The heartbreak of losing it to an ill-advised decision or inability to effectively deal with customers is, generally, an easy one to avoid. Every business should have a good understanding of how to maintain a positive reputation, here we go through the whole process of maintaining and even improving your company’s reputation.
The major benefit to maintaining a good company reputation is pretty obvious – it improves your chances for a sale.
Whether your company deals with financial investments, technology or almost anything else, people usually turn to the internet before parting with their money. Having a positive online presence, and an easy way for your customers to reach out, will increase business noticeably. Having this online presence will boost your chances of a sale.
Every business owner also wants their business to truly stand for something. Using specific language and points of view will help to build your brand and give a perception of the type of company you are to customers.
You can go further than this. When issuing press releases, replying publicly and privately on social media and commenting on relevant forums, you need to be consistent in selling yourself as this thought leader. Customers will engage with your company if you come across as knowledgeable in the area.
A good online reputation increases your credibility, too. Before committing to a sale, a customer wants to know you are a credible business. How do you go about improving your credibility? Allow customers to publicly share positive experiences online for other to see.
Monitoring your reputation
Reputation is not down necessarily down to what you do, but how others react to your company. Giving your customers a platform, such as Google Reviews, to rate the service they received will help your company build credibility.
However, it is essential that this is managed, as it also welcomes customers who have received a negative experience to share their concerns, too.
Monitor popular review sites
You need to be regularly reviewing popular review sites. Positive reviews can be captured and shared on your website, and negative reviews, although you cannot remove them, should be at least made aware of to you as a company.
This means that should a customer quiz you on the negative review, you can have a planned, pre-prepared statement to quash the concerns allayed from the review. If you feel the review made was truly unjust or irrelevant to your company, you can usually contact the site to contest the review. Chances are, if there is proof it is not linked to your company, the review will be taken down.
A fantastic tool that all companies monitoring their online presence should be made aware of. Once you have registered for the service, Google will send you a notification every time someone has mentioned your business anywhere on the internet. Pretty amazing right?
With this, you have the ability to quickly reply to any queries or reviews in a timely manner. This is particularly useful for negative customer reviews, as you can attempt to mitigate the problem whilst the customer is still engaged. If you are lucky and provide an actionable response to the review, they may even change their mind!
Review your social media
Customers are quickly turning to social media to reach out to your company. Being quick to respond to customer queries will help provide a positive experience for your customer, which will improve your company’s credibility, hopefully leading to yet more positive reviews.
Customers will expect a quick response time on social media, and platforms such as Facebook even provide statistics customers can see on average response times. Make sure you are responding to queries of all types as soon as possible.
You can also provide useful informational posts to customers on here to avoid the need for them to reach out in the first place. Using relevant hashtags in your posts can even help to increase your following and thus potential customers.
Allow your customers to engage
Customers like to feel they are having an input into a company’s plans going forward and this has even been proven to improve brand loyalty.
Put questions out to your customers, invite them to fill in surveys and address them as if their opinion truly matters. As they are the ones feeding your business, the opinion of your customers is pivotal for the future of your company.
By following the tips above, your company should be able to maintain or improve credibility. Just don’t forget to respond and positively engage with your customers, the benefits will soon become clear!