Building a great reputation is not something that just happens.
You might think that running a great business and providing the best service possible is enough. And while we’d love to say that was true, unfortunately, it hardly ever is. There are, of course, a few success stories where a business has flourished purely because of high-quality services but for every such story, there are many, many more featuring a business that — despite its best efforts — struggled and failed.
Often businesses are put off reputation management, thinking that it’s only for big brands, or that it’s just too complicated to manage. But, like most things, taking a few simple steps consistently can yield incredible rewards.
The five steps to building a winning reputation
If you get all these right, you’ll be well on your way to a customer-winning reputation.
1. Get feedback
Your customers probably talk to you, but make sure you are getting their feedback in a structured way, send out surveys to existing customers and ask customers to review you.
When you start getting five-star reviews, you can use them to promote and build trust in your business.
2. Use offers and promotions
There’s always something on offer because offers work. There’s no need to be imaginative, use tried and tested techniques like sale prices, buy-one-get-one-free, or old-fashioned coupons.
They help existing customers build loyalty and provide an incentive for new customers to try you out.
3. Use persuasion
Everyone likes to feel important, even customers. Take opportunities to highlight your products, but also to make people feel special, for example promoting an offer because a customer had previously purchased something similar.
These help to reinforce the feeling that customers aren’t just transactions, but real people, helping to build trust and loyalty to your brand.
4. Provide excellent service
Although we said that excellent service alone won’t get you there, if you can’t back up the other techniques with a great customer experience, then nothing will work. Think about what stands out in your business. Is it incredibly fast delivery? Or attentive in-store service? Or exceptional after-care?
Highlighting your unique offer, and working to get it as close to perfect as possible, helps reinforce your position. By making a service promise and delivering on it, customers will, naturally, assume the rest of your service meets the same standards.
5. Have a referrals programme
People love to share good news and love it even more if they can benefit. Think about implementing a referral programme that will encourage your customers to encourage their friends to use you. The traditional method is to offer both the customer and a friend a reward, such as money-off or free products, for each sign up.
Referrals programmes are effective because people trust their friends. A recommendation from a friend is far more powerful than traditional advertising, making your customers potentially powerful evangelists for your business.
Putting it all together
Each of these individually will have a positive effect on your business, but the power is really unleashed when you can do all five together. Of course, that can be difficult. Although they are small things, just as their impact is multiplied, so is the work of tracking them all; that’s where we can help.
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We can help you how our reputation management services can help, and even offer you a free trial, so you can find out, with no risk, how investing in your reputation can be the best investment you ever make.