The role of reputation in today’s corporate world cannot be understated. What people think about your firm — from its products and services to its operations – either opens or closes doors. As a result, developing and maintaining a strong online company profile has never been more crucial.
- A solid reputation takes time and effort to build, yet you might lose it in a heartbeat. Your brand reputation is how your audience perceives you. And nothing is more crucial than your company’s reputation when it comes to attracting new customers and boosting your business.
- Reputation management helps businesses in cultivating a professional online image and brand. While maintaining their positive reputations, many small businesses use social media, Google, or review sites to sustain it.
- Integrating reputation management and marketing tactics can also improve the effectiveness of your campaigns considerably. For example, good reviews and brand exposure may be easily reused for digital marketing content. In addition, managing your reputation builds trust with potential customers.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the things you can do to help your business build and maintain its reputation over time. We’ll take a closer look at them as well.
Why is a business’s reputation important?
The reputation of a business is crucial since it helps to attract and retain customers. People’s experiences with a business and how others interpret those interactions significantly impact a business’s reputation.
A good reputation isn’t simply a source of pride for your firm; it’s also essential for long-term survival. So, a fantastic product or service may attract attention. Still, a great reputation can help you stand out from the crowd and may even persuade clients to buy from you, preferably than your competitors.
In contrast, if people have a poor opinion of your company, they are reluctant to buy from you or may not buy from you again. And suppose they have previously had a terrible experience with your organisation. In that case, they may even spread unfavourable feedback and reviews, scaring off other potential buyers. And suppose you don’t have a reputation. In that case, people may never learn of your firm in the first place, limiting your customer base and possible longevity.
Having a good reputation benefits your business in several ways. For starters, it gives you such a competitive advantage and draws supporters and brand advocates. A good business reputation also opens up prospects for growth and expansion since customers and other businesses are more likely to collaborate with brands they trust and admire.
What Factors Influence the Reputation Of Your Business?
The following three factors have the most influence on your company’s reputation:
- The reviews about your business. Consumers want to do their homework before making a purchase. Reviews are one of the quickest methods to get a sense of a company. People can share their experiences with your firm on a variety of review sites and social media platforms. Reading these evaluations provides valuable information into how people see your company, what works well, and where you can improve.
- Your attitude and response to both positive and negative feedback reviews. How you respond to customer reviews is just as essential as how you reply to them. Interacting with those who leave positive reviews clearly shows that your business’s values its loyal customers. When confronted with negative evaluations, providing excellent customer service demonstrates that you care about making things right. Something that may persuade non-supporters to reconsider their thoughts.
- Your business’s online presence. Your online presence should be consistent across your website, review sites, and social media – anyplace you interact with your clients. Respond to customers on social media, keep your online presence up to date, and preserve a consistent brand voice. Potential customers will appreciate your efforts and are more likely to do business with you.
Examples of Good Business Reputations
These are a few examples of businesses with outstanding reputations:
- HubSpot. The software platform strives to comprehend its clients’ experiences by listening to their demands and developing actionable answers to any problems that may occur. As a result, HubSpot’s review sites are overflowing with excellent feedback about their customer service.
- Shopify. The e-commerce platform has earned a reputation for being a one-stop-shop for website management and delivering excellent technical assistance. On the website, Shopify also proudly displays real customer testimonials.
- Mynthra. Mynthra specialises in providing a one-of-a-kind, personalised consumer experience. Users take a brief style survey that personalises the items that appear in Mynthra’s unique, stylish and economical online shop. Positive feedback is generated as a result of this user experience.
How to Maintain a Strong Business Reputation?
1. Honor your Commitments & Keep your Promises.
If your business makes a promise, the earth should end before you break it. If you claim you’ll ship in 24 hours, you’ll ship in 24 hours. Don’t ask any questions if you say you offer no-questions-asked returns.
It would help if you also kept in mind that not all commitments are explicit. For example, the straightforward buyer transaction is a promise. The customer expects to receive the product or services they ordered on time. However, they also believe that what they purchased is worth the price they paid for it. Your reputation will diminish if you fail to keep this most crucial pledge.
2. You should always Reward Customers for Positive Interactions.
The phrase “customer is the king” is a good way to think about how businessmen treat their clients. Unfortunately, it’s also absolutely incorrect, resulting in businesses expending efforts to appease their most angry, least sensible, and least devoted customers.
Instead, what if salespeople were given the authority to reward customers who were a joy to work with? What if a customer heard at the end of a transaction, “It was such a pleasure to help you today that I’ve been authorised to give you an extra 5% discount.” What difference would that make in your conversation with the customer? What do you believe that person would say about your business in public?
3. Try to Deliver more than Expected.
Another phrase used frequently in customer service is “deliver more than is expected,” but what does this mean?
Many businesses try to provide some unexpected service at no cost. For example, Goulet Pens always ships all purchases, large or little, with a tiny Tootsie Pop. Still, the best way to approach this suggestion is to offer customers what they need before asking for it.
For instance, if a customer calls because they are unhappy with a product they purchased, don’t wait for them to demand a return; instead, offer to replace it for them. Likewise, if they admit that their service was poor, offer to make it right before they have to tell you that it is what they require. It’s no secret that providing excellent customer service is the most cost-effective marketing strategy.
4. Consistency is the Key!
Be consistent in all places and platforms where your business interacts. Maintaining consistency also means that you should be genuine. For example, suppose you try to build a fake image. In that case, it will ultimately fail, and people will be frustrated that you were abusive, disrespectful, or poisonous in a different context.
When representing your business, make sure you do so in a reasonable and approachable manner.
5. Engage and Inspire Your Audience.
Waiting for clients to come to you won’t build your audience in today’s day and age since there are so many channels fighting for attracting customers. So instead, you must discover your clients wherever they gather.
Whatever you do, there is a dedicated online forum, page, or Facebook Group for it. By immersing yourself in that atmosphere and striving to be a true authority and resource, you will organically grow your fanbase.
6. When you make a mistake, apologise!
No business is flawless. Your organisation will make a mistake at some point. For example, you’ll say something inappropriate or react harshly to a review, or there’ll be an issue deeper down the supply chain, causing things to be delivered late.
What separates good firms from terrible ones is how they manage problems when they arise. Simply saying “I’m sorry” isn’t enough. Apologies should not be rushed, hurried, or handled awkwardly.
7. Stay on Top of your Branding!
Because your branding defines how the rest of the world sees you and your services, you must get it properly.
Think how you want to be seen and, if required, employ the assistance of a branding firm and reputation specialists to set you up for success. You may need to register details or check copyright and other legal routes for any trademarks and images you intend to use. You’ll also want to create an appropriate online profile and maintain consistency.
8. Be Human!
Successful brands are trustworthy and relatable. So bringing out your human side is usually a smart idea. Customers are less likely to spend with faceless or corporate organisations, preferring those perceived to be more ‘human.’
A good starting step is to develop a warm, genuine tone of voice for your marketing and communications. When it comes to social media, address people as individuals, utilising comedy and honesty to spark genuine dialogues. Brands such as Dominos, Ocado, and Innocent have received praise for their lighthearted but quick and efficient Twitter responses.
Likeability is so important that 70% of consumers polled for a Weber Shandwick analysis said they would avoid purchasing a product if they didn’t like the company behind it.
9. Be an Excellent Employer.
Aren’t your employees one of your most valuable assets? So, treat them well, and they will help you improve your company’s reputation.
A growing number of websites, such as glassdoor.co.uk, enable employees to assess their employers. They allow people more opportunities than ever before to spread the word about good and bad employers, contributing to your business’s excellent reputation.
10. Be an Industry Player
Promoting growth and innovation in your industry can help your company’s reputation among peers and beyond. Joining appropriate online and offline networks, such as LinkedIn and trade associations, attending business events, and exchanging expertise can help.
11. Broaden your Spheres of Influence
Nowadays, almost all businesses are collaborating with reputable suppliers and influencers to improve their company’s reputation.
Don’t forget to use your personal and professional networks to help you refine and distribute messages about who you are and what you do. Amplifying your reputation in this way might help you expand beyond the local market and even access global and other clients.
12. Uphold the Ideals of Sustainable Development.
Doing business ‘nicely’ is something we all strive for, and it will make your business create a positive reputation score.
Consider how you may expand your business while sticking to the ideals of sustainable development. Make a meaningful contribution to your community and expand opportunities for others around you while solving key issues such as climate change, waste, and inequality.
In recent years, prominent players like Walmart, Starbucks, and Ford have improved their reputations by unveiling new ways of working that reduce their environmental impact.
Take Charge of your Reputation.
If you remember only one thing from this list, make it this: You are in charge of your reputation. So at what point should you believe that your business only has a good reputation? When everything is flawless or when it bribes all of its customers to leave positive reviews?
Instead, a business with a good reputation commits to its aims, lives its vision, and keeps its commitments. Take charge of your reputation by addressing the issues causing it to degrade; the rest will take care of itself.
Responding to online reviews, posting positive content, and having an active social media presence are all critical steps in combining your marketing and reputation management goals for greater success.
Businesses that struggle to manage their reputations can work with experts to obtain a better, more extensive, and long-lasting reputation and more business.