One of the biggest assets your company has is its reputation, which makes looking after it a priority. In order to manage it successfully, it has to play a key part in your sales and marketing strategy. There’s a lot at stake because if you get it wrong, all your hard work could be lost in the blink of an eye. Get it right, however, and you’ll join the ranks of all those well-known brands that instantly spring to mind when you think about companies with a positive presence in the marketplace. If you’d like to ensure you get it right for your business, here are seven things you must do.
- Get Your Customers to Say Nice Things About You
Your customers have a huge part to play in improving your company’s reputation. It’s a marketing basic, but there are a surprising number of businesses who forget about getting their customers to say nice things about them. Other brands with good reputations should also be used to your advantage, so their reputation rubs off on yours. Consumers still find a positive reputation very appealing. Timing is everything, however, and there are good and bad times for customers to be asked to leave their feedback. A particularly good time is when they’ve just agreed to your latest offering as they’re bound to see you in a good light.
Asking clients and customers what they think about your company and your products or services is a good way to show them that you value their opinions. Encourage them to leave feedback, reviews, and criticisms. Consider adding a testimonials page to your website and a way in which your customers can submit their feedback. They’re more likely to use Facebook, Twitter, or another social media page you’ve got, but it’s best to provide your customers with as many options as possible.
- Be Prepared to Hold Your Hands Up
There are going to be occasions when you really mess up, after all, you’re only human. The important thing for your reputation is to be able to admit to a mistake, apologize and limit any damage by trying to put things right. If a problem has occurred because of a misunderstanding or an untruth, you have to counter the threat immediately and make your position perfectly clear.
- Keep Lines of Communication Open
It’s important to keep people in the loop, even if there’s nothing new that’s happened, or there’s no more progress on a particular project you’re working on. All it takes is a quick email to let them know what’s going on and it’ll do your reputation a lot of good. It saves leaving your clients wondering what’s going on or thinking that you’ve forgotten about them. You don’t have to send copious numbers of emails, just one every few days is more than sufficient.
- Keep Your Promises
If you say you’re going to do something, then make sure you do it. There are very few things that are going to harm your reputation more than backing out at the last minute. Even if your reasons are valid, it’s far better to find someone who can fill in for you, especially if they do the job just as well as you’d have done. Earning a reputation for not keeping your promises is going to have a negative impact on the success of your business.
- Have an Awesome Website
Any prospective clients are going to want to know as much as they can about you and your business and a good way to do it is with a professional looking website. It’s also the first step in building your online reputation. The modern consumer uses their mobile device for researching their purchases more than ever before, and in order to be seen online, you need a website. It should be designed well, tell people all about you, as well as what you provide. It should also provide details of the ways in which you can be contacted. The jobs not a good one, however, until you’ve been marketing your website. Publishing your website is not enough, you also need to target your audience, boost your ranking on search engine results pages, publish great content, include links, make it user-friendly and make use of social media channels.
- Take Advantage of Social Media
Social media is a very powerful tool when it comes to improving your reputation. There are a number of different channels to choose from and which ones you use depends on your target audience. There’s little point in setting up a Facebook page if your target audience prefers to use Instagram. The same goes for Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Pinterest. It’s also important that you let your customers know your business pages and accounts exist. You can do this by including the information on any communications you send to your customers and adding links to your website. Consumers prefer to use social media channels when reaching out to companies for questions and comments, so make sure these avenues are available to them.
- Monitor Your Reputation
An online reputation monitoring system is important for your business because it will help you keep abreast of what’s being said across the internet and social media. It’s also a very proactive approach to take because it allows you to anticipate, follow, and control buzz and potential crises. Not only can it be used to monitor your own reputation but also that of your competitors.
The reputation of your business is essential to its survival. If your reputation is a good one, it gives you a competitive advantage and is great for getting new customers. It can help to distinguish you from your competitors and could be the deciding factor in whether your company is chosen over them. When people are spending their money, whether they’re buying a product or service, they want to make the best choice possible and often base their selection on the company that appears to be superior to any others.