Harnessing Word-of-Mouth: 5 Tips for Building a Stellar Business Reputation
In business, reputation is everything. People are picky about where they spend their money. If you can build up a stellar reputation, your business can grow and flourish. By building a reputation of being trustworthy, legitimate, and helpful, you can earn clients’ trust and outrank scheming competitors.
Start with the fundamentals: a business address.
If your business is entirely online, you’ll need a virtual address. A virtual address is a physical address that gives your business a more reputable presence than a PO Box. When your consumer base notices your business has maintained a consistent physical address, it zaps doubts of credibility and reassures customers that your business isn’t a flight risk.
Ultimately, prospective customers associate a physical address with an established business. As a bonus, a physical address also helps your website rank in Google.
Create great content
Customers usually associate your business with what you can do for them. Of course, you want to manufacture and distribute a holy-grail product, but remember that your reputation rests on much more than what you sell.
If you can craft helpful content that resolves your customers’ problems and speaks to their interests, they'll value your business all the more.
Customer service is key
Excellent customer service is the hallmark of any business's reputation. Your goal shouldn't be for nothing to ever go wrong with your product. By contrast, your number-one priority should be to handle your customers' issues with efficiency and a great attitude.
Businesses don't lose customers because of occasional issues with their products. Customers slip through business owners’ fingers if these leaders fail to provide superior customer service. Even if something goes wrong, you can create lifelong customers (and score referrals) if you handle the situation with grace and professionalism.
Always be honest and ethical.
Honesty and ethics go a long way in building your business's reputation. Some companies will be dishonest or engage in unethical behavior on the premise that no one will find out.
While it can be tempting to compromise your values and act in the best interest of your business, just remember that word travels fast, meaning your dirty little secrets won’t stay secret for long. Once the truth comes out, your business's reputation is marred, and it can be challenging to sway the public's opinion.
Know when to say no
When a customer approaches with a request, it can be difficult to say no, especially if you're a new business and are working to establish your client base. However, if the request is something outside of what you do or beyond your capabilities, you're better off saying no.
While you may be successful, it's just as likely that you'll fall short of the client's expectations. As a result, you could earn yourself some negative feedback and bad word-of-mouth.
Building up your business's reputation can be tricky, especially if you're relatively new. However, suppose you follow these best practices, such as remaining ethical in the face of company dilemmas, providing value to your customers, and offering excellent customer service. In that case, you can quickly boost your business's reputation.
When you work hard to build your business's reputation, your customers will talk to their colleagues and friends. Word-of-mouth is perhaps the most potent form of marketing. That said, a glowing reputation can make all the difference in the business sector.