In any business arena, a company’s reputation is paramount. Before any customer chooses to buy, they consider a variety of aspects: services offered, public image, price, emotional contact, etc.
While every new customer will weigh a number of variables in their mind’s eye before choosing, they are, in essence, making a gamble. The odds and risks of this gamble can be greatly reduced if a company can establish trust with each prospective customer. One surefire method of ensuring trust is harboring a robust reputation.
Taking extra steps to solidify one’s own reputation can seem costly and unnecessary. In the world of digital sales and online anonymity, the customer has nothing to lose and everything to gain by exploiting a company’s belief in their reputation.
They will take full advantage of any sales or perks to save a buck, threaten to post poor reviews, and even falsely report inappropriate behavior on a company’s social media page in order to gain leverage.
Despite these negative consequences, commitment to reputation will pay dividends in the future, increase sales, and provide for a stress-free conscious. In the words of Mark Twain’s quintessential literary character Huckleberry Finn, ‘You can’t pray a lie.’
While you can sell a lie, you can’t sell too many lies before the public finds out. It makes financial sense to stand behind your product and allow your honesty to speak for itself.
If you accept the fact that one of the most important aspects of any successful business is reputation, then consider the following nuances to establishing a trustworthy financial identity.
1. Execution is everything.
10% of successful business is a good idea, 90% is execution. You need to prove your product will work, will be commercially competitive, and will be a mutually beneficial agreement between both vendor and customer.
Getting rich quick is for gold miners and people who count cards in casinos. Staying rich requires a positive and stalwart reputation. A reputation like this means that you will ensure the same, high-quality service that you have always offered.
It also means that one-time customers will turn into repeat customers, and they will tell their family and friends, and their family and friends will turn into repeat customers. Customers want loyalty in their vendors, and your business wants loyalty in its customers. It just makes sense.
2. Take Responsibility, but don’t let the bad reviews get you down.
Sometimes it only takes a drop of cyanide to poison the waterhole. If your reputation is sound, there will be no issue in gaining numerous positive reviews. Eventually, someone is bound to hit you with a single star, a thumbs-down, or a frowny face.
Their review might rely on insubstantial or false evidence. They may strike to your emotional core. In the words of Kanye West, there are two types of people in this world: dreamers and haters.
Don’t be a hater. Respond promptly and respectfully. Take full responsibility, inform the customer that their grievances have been addressed and that the issue will not recur.
3. Don’t get overwhelmed, trust your employees.
In the digital era, there are so many points of contact between a company and its customers that there is no way to ensure that, at some point, an employee won’t make a visible mistake. Angie’s List, Yelp, and Google Reviews are available to anyone and everyone.
Negative criticism may, at times, seem completely overwhelming. Take a moment to step outside the issue, ensure that your integrity is intact, and respond accordingly.
4. Sometimes, all it takes is a little encouragement for a customer to leave a positive review
Don’t wait for the twitter trolls to inform you about your company’s performance; encourage an open dialogue with customers after every interaction. Appeal to their better judgment. Your efforts will be awarded.
5. Half of reputation management is handling the negative, the other half is promoting the positive.
Every complaint and negative review should be appropriately addressed. They will come, they are impossible to avoid, but they do not need to define your reputation. Accentuate the positive. Keep up a steady presence on social media.
Highlight the fact that your company, like every company, is comprised of human beings who have talents, senses of humor, empathy, and families. Let people know about the positivity you have created, and they will remember.
Reputation management is one of the most important attributes to any successful business. Brightpast offers reputation support, management, and advice. Don’t get rich quick; stay rich. Invest in your own reputation and it will pay dividends into the future.