Published on Wednesday 24 June 2015 in The Shoestring Marketing Blog
How to build a rave reputation for your business
Your great reputation is not built overnight and you have to work hard at maintaining it. Super successful in demand tradesmen build customer loyalty through:
- Focusing on retaining their customers.
- A bias towards product benefits and delivering solutions to customer needs.
- Viewing the delivery of exceptional customer service as crucial to their growth.
- Making customer satisfaction the responsibility of every team member (even if they are a two man band!)
They regard customers as the most important people in their business and not just a profit generating unit.
So let's look at what a customer wants from you and your business.
- Credibility - they want know and feel you're the real deal.
- Reliability - they want to know they can always count on you to consistently deliver a high standard of customer service.
- Knowledge – they want to be confident you will always make the effort to thoroughly understand their needs and your understanding comes from a sound base of knowledge.
- Responsiveness - they expect you to be swift to respond to questions, requests and complaints.
- Competence – they want to be sure you have great skills; the perfect partner to your knowledge.
- Politeness – they want to be treated by you and your team in a courteous, friendly and welcoming manner every time.
They also want to feel confident that the services and products you recommend are what they really need.
5 Simple Reputation Building Tips
- Make a list of your customer communication channels. These may include email, your website, telephone, printed letters and face-to-face encounters. What sort of service are you delivering through each channel and at each stage of their journey with you? Be critical and make improvements.
- Create a customer care charter. When you have a small customer base it's easy to lavish attention on customers. As your business grows, you have the challenge of ensuring your customer care standards are adopted by your team. A customer care charter will help you achieve this and it's something we'll cover in a future blog.
- Don't promise a customer something you know in your heart you can't deliver. Undersell and over deliver...
- Treat your employees well. If your idea of training a new recruit is to let them learn on the job or you think that developing your people means handing them a book on customer service, you're not showing employees that you care about them and about the service they deliver. Invest time in training your employees. Organise monthly meetings to discuss the importance of customer care, share tips and agree new initiatives.
- Look upon complaints as opportunities to identify and correct problems within your business. Give customers the benefit of the doubt when making a complaint. Okay, some customers are habitual complainers but most complain because they feel they have been treated badly. And they have!
Don't become blasé in thinking your hard-won reputation can look after itself. It can't.
About our guest blogger and marketing expert Dee Blick
Our guest blog writer is Dee Blick, a Chartered Marketer and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Fellowship is the highest status awarded by CIM, the World's largest marketing body.
With 30 years' marketing experience, Dee has extensive experience in new product development and marketing strategy, with a track record of planning and delivering exceptional campaigns on a shoestring budget.