In a world of viral news and online reviews and ratings, it has never been more crucial for business owners to prioritise and protect their reputation. In this guide, we’ll discuss proactive measures you can take to shield your company and enhance your brand image.
Customer service plays an integral role in building strong relationships with clients, but it can also influence review scores and ratings. If you provide outstanding customer service and support, the chances of receiving rave reviews will increase dramatically. Consumers today are looking for more than a great product and competitive prices. They have high expectations in terms of customer service. You can make improvements by providing responsive support options, providing training for employees who engage with customers and analysing feedback. If you run a restaurant, for example, and people are commenting on the speed of service, you may wish to consider reducing the number of covers, extending opening hours or hiring additional staff during busy periods. Negative reviews can impact your reputation and encourage customers to choose other businesses or brands.
If you own a company, people will judge the brand and form associations based on the perceptions they have of you and the employees who work for the business. To protect your company reputation, it’s wise to try to enhance your personal image and to avoid scenarios or situations that could influence the way customers or the wider public view your brand. Negative press and incidents that require a criminal defense attorney can cause lasting harm, even if you are proven innocent or charges are dropped. Think about how your actions could affect your business and the people who work for you. It’s also important to encourage your team to take responsibility for the way they conduct themselves outside of work. With social media and 24-hour news channels and video platforms, stories can go viral in seconds and even the smallest businesses can attract unwanted attention.
Delivering on promises
One of the main reasons people leave negative feedback is businesses failing to deliver on promises. Customers have expectations, and if they are promised something, which doesn’t materialise, they will be disappointed. Consider the example of an online retailer. In some cases, it may be impossible to fulfil orders due to factors that are out of your control, but this is very different from offering services or products that are not available. Avoid running promotions or offering a next-day delivery service if you’re struggling to get orders out or you know that stock levels are running low. If there is a problem and it’s beyond your control, contact the client. Explain the situation and offer an alternative or a solution, for example, money off or guaranteed delivery on the day after the order is due.
Prioritise employee health and wellbeing
Looking after your employees has benefits for productivity and efficiency, but it’s also critical for your brand image. If consumers can see that your teams are happy and that you are a company that champions wellbeing, this will enhance your brand image. If your employees look miserable or exhausted, you have high turnover rates, or past employees speak out against the business, this can damage your reputation. Be proactive in supporting your employees and try to create an inclusive culture. Make sure your employees feel valued, communicate with them and facilitate progression.
Looking after loyal customers
An established, loyal client base is a sign of a successful business. If your company has a large number of repeat customers, this is an indicator of good quality and customer service. Take care of your existing customers and reward loyalty. If you look after your clients, they will continue to buy from your business. Crucially, they may also recommend your brand to their nearest and dearest and provide online reviews, which are accessible to huge pools of prospective clients. There are multiple ways to reward loyalty. Examples include a rewards scheme, access to exclusive discounts and offers, priority access to sales or new products and services and perks to celebrate special occasions. You can also incentivise referrals and recommendations by offering discounts or gifts for the customer and their friend or family member.
Building a positive reputation has never been more important. As online reviews become increasingly influential, it’s wise to be proactive in protecting your brand image. Prioritise customer service and support, think carefully about the implications of your own actions, look after your employees and loyal customers and deliver on the promises you make.