This may come as a shock, but some people may not see your business for what it is. Warren Buffet once said that it takes only five seconds to ruin a 20-year reputation, and a bad rep can stick tighter than glue. We are living in such a competitive world that a good reputation in business can make all the difference.
Consumers place greater importance on the perception of a business than that of the products the business is offering. This is largely due to the fact that most of them interact with businesses based on what other people have to say about it. In fact, according to research, a negative review can drive away up to 40% of potential customers.
Despite the fact that you may not be able to please everyone, you must strive to build and maintain a positive business reputation. To put it simply, a good reputation is vital for your business, because reputation equals revenue. If you prioritize relationships, live up to your values, and capitalize on memorable moments, you’ll be halfway there. Let’s find out what else you need to maintain a solid company reputation.
Become an Authority in Your Field
Don’t leave it to other people to define your business. Put yourself out there and take charge of the conversations. Most people want to interact and do business with authority figures. It makes sense to get a product or service from “the best” does it not?
To position your business as an authority in the industry, you must be involved in online discussions. Some of them may include answering customer questions, hosting webinars, blogging about industry developments, and making guest appearances. Every time you interact with consumers online, you’ll be leaving a digital footprint that’ll add to your overall reputation in business.
Increase Your Corporate Social Responsibility
A good reputation in business involves getting your company out there and making it visible. CSR or corporate social responsibility is a crucial factor in building and maintaining company reputation. About 78% of consumers expect a business to address social issues as well as their core business activities.
Keep in mind that sponsoring charitable activities is a great way to be part of a community, and it’ll get your business name out there. Doing good and commendable works for the community will not only put your business name in front of potential clients, but it’ll show people that you have values, and you actually work on them.
CSR will protect your business from negative publicity and reduce the financial impact your business might experience from the events.
Respond Promptly and Professionals to Negative Reviews and Complaints
At some point, your business will experience unhappy customers. Some may have interacted with an employee, and it was totally out of your hands. Unsatisfied, or God forbid angry customers go just about any length, and if they don’t scream at you, they may blatantly curse you or send you nasty emails.
Worse, they might go online and write the most hostile review, adding things you feel are simply not true. In this instance, you can’t do anything rash. You need to be calm, polite, and clear when addressing the issue.
You have a better chance at building brand loyalty if you apologize to the customer and address the issue in a positive light. Once prospects see that you treat everyone nicely and politely, even the most negative customer, they’ll be impressed with you as a person, and it’ll strengthen your company’s reputation.
When addressing these problems, reaction time is quite crucial. When customers approach you with concerns, regardless of how minor or major they are, you need to address them and respond as soon as possible.
If you can, contact the customer directly and inquire about what happened, then discuss what you can do to rectify the situation. The simple act of showing concern, hearing them out, and trying to solve the problem, will impress the customer. They may become loyal to your business, and possibly pull in more customers through word of mouth.
Apart from dissatisfied customers, you should protect your business website against cybersecurity and data breach. Implement a security policy for your company to prevent malicious people from ruining your business.
Always Defend Yourself against False Claims
Remember that customer who wrote a hostile review? They may go overboard and slander you or accuse you falsely. A lot of people are stressed out out there, and they may just be taking their frustrations out on you. Other people are just plain mean.
When this happens, especially if the customer is not open to a discussion, refute those claims calmly. Don’t allow false information to ruin your brand reputation, so take action and file a complaint with that particular review website.
After that, post a public response about the issue and tell your side of the story, stating facts and offering a resolution without blaming the customer or making accusations of your own. Making legal threats will only harm your reputation in business, so avoid doing it or even revealing the critics’ names.
Treat Employees with Respect
Employees are the single biggest asset your business has, and it could be the key to a good reputation in business. Employees will also voice their concerns and complaints on the internet and disrespect on your part will mean a bad rep for your business.
On the other hand, if they are happy working for you, they will advocate for your business and defend you from those nasty customers. Show your employees that they are valuable members of the business by keeping them happy and appreciating them. Employee influence on social media platforms may benefit your company immensely in terms of public relations.
Don’t Purchase Online Reviews
As tempting as this may be, it’s simply not genuine, and it’ll hurt your business in the long run. You’ll undoubtedly experience several negative reviews once in a while, but this is no reason to fake reviews.
How about you just offer quality and honest services, then watch customers come to you instead? If you need professional help in launching your brand and establishing a solid reputation, you can hire a competent brand strategy agency.
Final Thoughts on a Good Reputation in Business
When starting a business, reputation is usually a blank slate, and you can build it the right way from the start. The thing is, when you get more positive reviews from the beginning, it’ll be hard for random negative reviews to drag your business through the mud.
To maintain a good reputation in business, always be kind and polite, do more than is expected of you, help others any chance you get, and it’ll never be forgotten. Beyond that, always operate with integrity, consistently deliver value, and never go back on your promises. For more info about improving your business, read more of our articles.