Reputation management is a worry for many.
When the day-to-day of running and, hopefully, growing a business is already incredibly time-consuming, the idea of ensuring the public reputation of your business is positive can seem like a colossal task. But is building a five-star brand impossible?
The good news is that it’s not just possible to manage your reputation easily, if can turn out to be the most cost-effective business asset you have.
What reputation is
Your reputation is, in short, the sum of what your clients and customers think about you. If, overall, customers think positively about your business, then you will have a positive reputation. If not, then you have a problem. Your reputation, whether good or bad, will influence how they speak about your business and how likely they are to use it again.
The reason that many businesses struggle with reputation is that they do not fully understand how it works. Some assume that having company values or slogans, for example promising good customer service, will help boost a reputation. But these are meaningless if the sentiments are not shared by customers. Others, realising that reputation is what their customers think, assume that they can do nothing to control it, and therefore do nothing at all to manage their reputation.
However, while reputation cannot be fully controlled, it can be influenced. And done well, reputation management can have an enormous positive impact on how people think and talk about your business.
How to influence your reputation
Reputation management does not need to be hard. In many ways, it’s simply harnessing the power of positive human nature.
Although there are plenty of statistics about how people will more readily share a negative than a positive, in fact most people enjoy passing on good news. When they share a recommendation, it helps reflect on them, since it means they are helping someone, whether it’s to get a service, have an enjoyable experience, or find the exact purchase they’ve been looking for.
Prompt customers to review you
People almost always research purchases, so it’s vital to make sure that you have lots of five-star reviews. Encourage people to leave reviews for you, and make it easy, adding reminders to receipts will immediately boost reviews, but having a QR link will boost them even more. Often, people are happy to leave positive reviews, they just need to be asked and told how.
Having people talk about you is the single best way to drive customers — and revenue — to your door. Most people will happily talk about positive experiences, but there are still plenty of things that you can do to encourage more. Consider having things like referral schemes, so your current customers will feel like they are helping their friends to a bargain, or use social media designed to encourage sharing.
Manage your reputation process
And, most importantly, make sure you manage your reputation with robust processes. That means you should respond to reviews, making the reviewer know they are heard and appreciated. And even if the review is bad, taking a little time to address the issues helps reassure potential customers that, in a world where nothing is perfect, you are committed to customer service.
Using reputation positively
Although it does involve some work, once you have a good reputation management process in place, it will quickly start to pay a handsome return on your investment. You’ll see the benefit in customers through the door and profit in your business. And, best of all, your advertising will be taken care of by your customers, the most powerful advertising medium there is.
We have helped lots of businesses, just like you, take charge of their reputation and seen the benefits that a few simple steps can take. Why not call or email us today, and we can show you how our services can build your five-star brand and transform your business.