After going through the early startup phase where a lot of work has to be put in to get even the most little of things done, a business develops to a certain level where reputation counts. At this point, your reputation helps bring lots of businesses to you, while you put in not so great effort.
When you’re just starting out, it can be difficult to see how you will get to build a good business reputation. But the truth is that it’s much like building your own business; you will only get out of it what you put into it.
Not everyone immediately gets a hang of how to build a positive reputation, though they might all agree to how important it is. If you fall into the category of those who don’t know, here is how to build a positive reputation for your business.
Customers are bound to come to you with complaints at one point or the other. If they do come to you, whether it’s a minor question or a fairly serious problem, ensure you take out your time to talk to them directly and find out what happened. Listen to their complaints and discuss how to rectify the problem. This seemingly simple act of listening and explaining your position, and then trying to make things right, will impress the customer even if they’re ultimately unsatisfied, and ensure you have an excellent reputation for your business.
Each industry has its best practices and code of ethics, so right from the onset, build your principles around them. Even your employees should understand and abide by what the ethical situations are, why it’s important to abide by them, also knowing what to do if faced with a difficult situation.
Your reputation, whether good or bad, is solely influenced by customers. At some point, businesses get an angry customer. They could come across as harsh or hostile. But remember that replying calmly, politely, and clearly is your best tactic, even if you’re outraged. If potential customers see that you treat even the worst customer fairly, it’ll impress on them that they will get a fair shake, giving you a positive business reputation.
It wouldn’t be a mistake seeing good reputation as a precipitate of acts of integrity. Make sure you act with integrity no matter the nature of your business. Small act of selfishness, greed or jealousy can have a serious negative impact. Avoid them to build a good reputation.
Be sincere to yourself and answer the question, how many times have you patronized a business over and over again, simply because they offer the best service? You might, for example, offer free service or product support for a period of time, or offer discounts and special perks to loyal customers. Providing something unexpected, such as a giveaway or free sample, is a good value- and reputation-building tactic. And paying attention to details – making sure a product is spotless on delivery, for example – scores big value and reputation points.
Matthew King is the owner of the Startup Forums, Alkries LLC, and co-owner at TR King Insurance Marketing. Partner at Independent Life Insurance Agent Association, Medicare Training 101, and Final Expense 101. When he's not creating content about running successful businesses here. He's most likely developing processes, diving into SEO, or gaming with his friends and wife.
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