While it takes a number of elements to create a successful business, one important building block you need to focus on is reputation management. Having the best product or service to offer or incredible customer service won’t add up to much if your reputation keeps customers from even giving you a chance.
First, you can’t simply rely on your market to do the work for you. You must be proactive. Although you should certainly strive to be the type of businesses customers can’t wait to rave about, that’s hardly a sound strategy. Taking control of your reputation means leveraging social media and looking for any publicity that paints your business in a positive light.
One way to do this is by encouraging your customers to go online and tell others about why they like your business. If you have to incentivize them to do so, consider it a worthwhile investment. What you never want to do is fake a review. It’s become easier than ever for savvy Internet users to trace that back to your business, which will be virtually impossible to recover from.
Don’t rest on your laurels either. It appears that Google and other search engines give more credit to those reviews that have been posted recently. This is why reputation management has to be an ongoing process. Never let up on trying to gain positive reviews for your company.
Aside from that, think about what customers see. Consistency is great for winning over business. Your company may have some great reviews now, but in a year, if one of your competitors has more and they go back just as long, they’re probably going to get more customers.
Reputation management is usually looked at as a key element in keeping your company afloat. As we just touched on, if you’re not covering this base, expect that a competitor who does to put you out of business.
However, there’s another big reason to go after a sterling reputation: pricing power. If you’re a realtor, a small business owner or some other kind of professional with a lot of competitors who, on paper anyway, seem to offer the same service, how do you make more? One easy way is to explain to customers that your business is far more reputable and respected than others in your industry.
If you do it right, reputation management will become an important part of your company not just succeeding, but thriving.