Does Your Business Reputation Measure Up?
What does your business reputation say about you? Too many business owners and professionals go about day-to-day operations and become busy enough to forget to see what other people are saying about you and your company. Your reputation of how others perceive you may be the difference between attracting new business and driving that new business away. If you’re an employee, your reputation can be the stepping stone to being hired.
With the internet being so intertwined in our everyday movements, it is all too easy to pull out your phone and run a quick google search of a company or a person to find out how they really interact with customers or other professionals. The other part of your reputation comes from person-to-person interactions, or word of mouth. When your reputation is passed on by word of mouth it usually carries more weight, as the level of trust or knowing between the people talking about you or your company is much greater than reading strangers’ reviews online.
Trust me are words that we often use. How much a person trusts you depends on your reputation. If you are the type that is always running late or not completing tasks in a timely manner, these words may carry little to no weight with them. So how do you keep your reputation to the level where people actually trust you and or your company? You deliver – on time and on budget!
Keep in mind that your reputation does not change overnight in either direction. Start with building trust. Build trust with people around you, and with your clients. Recognize the word “build”. Trust is built when you repeatedly deliver on time, you show up when you are supposed to, and respect others and their time. You have to give trust to get it, so don’t be afraid to let others do what they say they will and learn not to micromanage the project.
After you have established trust, you have to show that you really care. As a business owner, there is nothing worse than having customers think that you don’t care about them or their business. A big part of maintaining a good reputation is righting any wrongs that may have happened. There will inevitably be a time where you and or your company will not deliver as you were supposed to. A big part of how your customers will view you is how you handle it. If you brush it off, your customers will assume that you do not care. On the other hand if you fix the problem and make sure the customer is satisfied you will boost your reputation and show your customers that you are a strong ethical company that cares about your customers.
As a business owner or a professional, be sure to take the time to run a google search on your name and your company. This may often bring to light blogging topics that you wrote, awards, LinkedIn profiles, etc.
Doing this may also alert you to customers that were unsatisfied which you were unaware of. It also does not hurt to ask your customers about their experience and if there is anything you can do differently that would have made their experience better.
The bottom line…people want to do business with those they like, respect and trust. Not everyone has to be your friend, but how does your reputation stack up? Sometimes as a business owner, you need to take the high road and always do the right thing by the customer.
About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business growth.