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Tips on Creating a Good Business Reputation
A good business reputation is the most important trait of businesses which plan to go for the long-run.
By using various marketing tricks (especially black hat techniques), it is quite easy to lure people in and persuade them to make a single purchase. However, once you charge more than you’ve promised, demonstrate an inefficiency of your customer service and show little or no interest in the safety of their investment, they aren’t likely to come back.
Now, this is a bit problematic, seeing as how 40 percent of your entire profit is generated by about eight percent of your regulars. With this in mind and in order to get as strong a business reputation as possible, here are a few tips on creating a good business reputation:
1. Transparency of prices.
One of the most important things for your customers is that they have a quick, simple and satisfying purchase experience. Therefore, they hate long check-out systems but what they hate even more is the lack of transparency when it comes to prices. Sure, if you include taxes, the cost of delivery and even the cost of extra features to the price you display on site, you might get fewer purchases, but you will make a huge step towards building a long-term good business reputation. Think about it, the price is what it is, and anyone who gets tricked by your shady, price display tactic is not likely to come back ever again.
2. Invest in great customer service.
Another thing you need to do is ensure your customer service is up to the task. Here, you have two directions that result in overall great customer service. You can either organise an in-house department or outsource. When it comes to the first solution, the benefits are that you have direct control over one of the most important aspects of your business. The downsides are that you are in charge of hiring, training and equipping the team. With outsourcing, on the other hand, you don’t have to deal with these issues, yet, you stand to lose a bit more money in the long-run.
3. Offer guarantees.
In a situation where your products/services are quite expensive, people won’t be comfortable working with you before you get a chance to prove your expertise elsewhere. In other words, they will try to have someone else take the risk in their stead. Still, there are a couple of things you can do to persuade them.
The best way to approach this issue is to offer various guarantees like warranties or, for some larger projects, even a surety bond. For those wondering, “What is a surety bond?”. It is a contract between three parties, the principal (your company), the obligee (the client) and the surety. It guarantees that in the case your company fails to deliver on time or with satisfactory quality, they will get paid a certain amount so that they are not at a loss.
4. Handle your public relations (PR) with care.
The next most important aspect of running a reputable business is being careful about the PR, which is the voice of your company. Sometimes, a minor giveaway can have a much better impact on your sales and overall reputation than a massive contest. What determines this success is the way in which your PR handles it.
On the other hand, in a situation where there is a slip-up made by your company, it is the job of your PR to address it, and they would do well to follow up with an explanation as soon as possible. Furthermore, sometimes it is better to simply admit you’ve made a mistake and dull the edge of those accusing you. Trying to dodge some of the trickier questions might just get you deeper and deeper into the hole.
5. Be careful with hype.
Even though it is true that hype can boost your company’s performance on launch significantly, you need to be careful around hype that you can’t keep up with. The best example of this can be seen in the gaming industry in the case of the widely anticipated “No Man’s Sky”, which was described as a PR disaster wrapped up in huge sales. Needless to say, the backlash from this was brutal and not just the game but its developers, as well, might have a hard time ever coming back from it.
6. Learn how to say no.
Finally, one of the things that can ruin your reputation beyond the chance of repair is promising something you know you can’t deliver on. Sometimes, you will get an especially lucrative offer and to turn it down will seem like a bad business practice, however, take a second to consider the effects of accepting the job and then failing to complete it.
At the end of the day, creating a good business reputation is not something that can be done overnight, yet it is possible to tarnish it for such a strong period. In other words, it is far more important that you avoid bad than to pull good moves (reputation-wise). Over the course of time, your performance, honesty and diligence will do this for you, as long as you are careful enough not to squander it.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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