A reputation is an interesting social phenomenon. Building one is a fragile little endeavor. Destroying one is as easy as pie. Crafting a positive business reputation isn’t easy. If it were, everyone else would be doing it.
There are no shortcuts to reputation, only intelligent decision making in the face of adversity. It takes time to forge a reputation and your weakest moments will be amplified by bad word of mouth unless you are quick on your feet.
In business, your perceived social value is as good as your actual social value. Businesses thrive only because of positive goodwill and social value garnered from genuine interactions with satisfied customers and online agent review.
By going the extra mile for each customer, a business is able to dramatically improve its odds of surviving in the market. There are plenty of ways to ensure your business enjoys a positive reputation in the long run.
Let’s explore some of them.
Keep praise public, address complaints privately
Eliminating all negative reactions to your business is impossible. What you can control are how you deal with them. Dealing with them successfully will allow you to minimize them.
Experts can easily determine which businesses are primed for long term success by how a business is able to transform a negative online agent review into positive feedback events that rouse constructive criticism and improvement.
Or if negative events are met with defensiveness and argumentative recourse, how quickly the business will collapse. A negative interaction is a chance to redeem your reputation by a display of humbleness, deliberate apology, and genuinely addressing the issue at hand to convert an angry customer into a potential life-long loyal fan instead.
Employ the golden rule
Treat others as you would like them to treat you. When a business carries integrity and devotion to a cause seriously, it might elicit snickers from the cynical, or even outright dismissal. However, ensuring that you treat your customers, employees, and partners with respect has a noticeable impact in the marketplace.
Everyone you employ and interact with is a potential ambassador of your business. Making sure that your business sets out to genuinely achieve your company vision without underhanded means will ensure that your peers and subordinates respect you in the long run.
By treating potential customers with kindness and all else inferior, this sociopathic approach assures that people you neglect will damage your business through word of mouth and lack of loyalty.
Don’t overpromise and fail to deliver
The great bane of many long-term success stories is overpromising and underdelivering, crippling your reputation in the process.
Underpromising and overdelivering instead is a solid tactic that shows customers you are focused on providing them their money’s worth and aren’t just looking for a quick buck in the long run. Focus on sustainable customer acquisition and cultivate new business with existing ones in a pace your team can handle for best results.
To do this, understand the limitations of your resources and make sure you are able to provide quality service for each and every customer. If you are in an environment where you are forced to compete with the lowest bids or offers and require undercutting others to barely get by, it will ensure that any positive benefit you bring to the marketplace is quickly lost.
Seek investors and benefactors instead to keep you afloat while you offer competitive rates without needing to resort to predatory practices.
Constantly take feedback
Listen to your customers. Not just the happy ones, but scour the bad reviews and actively seek out negative reviews — yes, as scary as that sounds, that’s where your opportunity to cover your weaknesses and improve your strengths really lie.
Ask customers to leave reviews. Whether in the form of emails, suggestion boxes, or testimonials, you want as much constructive feedback from as many people as possible to grow.
Actively monitor reviews, social media, and customers from silent majority customers that don’t raise their voices. While fearing loud, influential customers is intelligent, there lies goldmines of objective facts in the words of many of the silent majority that don’t raise a stink when they’re disappointed.
Good follow-up care with every customer adds a personal touch that no large business can match and will leave you in many client’s hearts, possibly converting them into dedicated loyalists in the long run.
Find a balance in the number of customers you can service while providing the best quality of work possible. Your customers are your strongest brand ambassadors. Go the extra mile on satisfying each client’s demands and see your business, profits, and reputation grow.
Keep your costs low in the early stages so you can dish out quality service each time with stellar follow-up care after each transaction. Building a happy, satisfied customer base should be your first priority. While reputations are scary to preserve in the long run, don’t forget the flip side where customers and peers that love your business reciprocate the quality performance you’ve shown them.
Happy customers can elevate you to the next level, so never regret the time you’ve taken to nurture a relationship with a single happy customer. Satisfying numbers is a linear process, but watching those same numbers provide you non-linear growth from word of mouth is a much more sustainable and positive strategy in the long run.