If you are a smaller business trying to make it in an online world, you understand the importance of a loyal customer base. It is one thing to attract customers, it is another to keep them interested in your business. Given that more and more consumers are interested in the ethics and reputation of a company that they give their money to, what are some tips that you can use to make sure that your small business has a good reputation?
Tip #1 – Create a blog with engaging content
If you want your reputation to flourish, a blog for your small business could be what you are looking for. Not only do small businesses who focus on blogging increase the number of leads, they can also form the overall opinion of consumers.
Not only is a good blog going to do wonders for your SEO (which is certainly an added benefit), but it is also going to allow you to shape the narrative about your own business. You are able to shape someone’s perception through a blog.
Tip #2 – Actively drive positive online reviews
Studies reveal that online reviews are a dominant factor in the overall purchasing decision for a customer. This is true across every industry, every business – every size. This means that you are always able to benefit from great reviews.
Building your reputation online is a collaborative effort between yourself and the consumer. Some customers are going to give out great reviews of their own, telling others how amazing your service was and how much they loved the product. Other customers are going to need a bit more of a push.
Make sure that you offer a place where people can review your product, leave feedback, and if necessary, have you respond to feedback. If someone does leave a great review, make sure to thank them for their time. This is going to turn this one-time satisfied customer into a lifelong advocate.
Tip #3 – If you are online, be present
Building on the previous point, if you are going to have an online presence, you need to be present. If you are not monitoring your feedback and if you are not actively responding to feedback (both positive and negative) you are selling yourself short. Even though negative feedback does not feel particularly good to receive, there is always a chance to turn a negative into a positive. Especially as a small business, it is important to be well aware of your online reputation.
Tip #4 –Online arguments are never a good look
If a customer says something that you disagree with, it is important to never get caught up in an argument. You can have disagreements, but an argument is never going to go your way. Even if you are 100 percent right, the public is still going to scrutinize your business in a different manner than it does a consumer.
It is impossible to make everyone happy, but it is possible to have a reasonable reaction to everyone. Even if you have a comment that provokes, make sure to have a professional response. Even if the customer is being unreasonable (and you know that they are being unreasonable) it is always a good idea to respond in a professional, cordial manner.
Tip #5 – Did you make a mistake? Take ownership and fess up
People make mistakes – and businesses are run by people – ergo, businesses can make mistakes. If you have ever made a mistake, do not be afraid to accept it. If you make a mistake, be transparent and authentic about the mistake that you made .
Perhaps you can try to make up for the mistake you made by offering a discount or offering free shipping on their next order. Again, even making a mistake can be turned into a positive thing if you are willing to be transparent.