Have you ever heard people say, “I don’t care what people think about me?” Sure, we all have. For some, what others think about them doesn’t seem to register and it doesn’t bother them in the least.
But have you ever heard a person say that about their business? We hope not but we’re sure there’s a few out there..
Whether you like it or not, what people think about your business is a big deal and it should concern you every day. Just about every move you make can make an impact on what people think about your business and your overall reputation.
Your good reputation can make the difference between having an okay year to having more business than you know what to do with. Which isn’t a bad problem to have…
What we do know is that an old saying is very true. You can’t please everyone. Not everyone is going to fall in love with your business and some customers may have unrealistic expectations. Some things cannot be avoided but you can do your best to please all.
A few things that we find that affect your business reputation.
The experience a customer has with your business starts from the minute they pick up the phone and call you, or in this age of social media, send you a message though a platform such as Facebook. You have to be available, helpful, courteous and responsive. That’s just the first part of getting and keeping a customer. If you have social media pages such as Facebook, you are going to need someone to be in charge of keeping an eye on that for any incoming messages. Some customers are just not going to pick up the phone anymore and you have to get used to that.
That’s just the start. From there, you need to make sure you have a plan to ensure your customer’s experience with your business is a pleasant one. Once they decide to do business with you, it’s up to you to make sure everyone on your team knows how to make that customer happy.
That leads us to training. A well-trained staff is one of the keys to a great customer experience and one of the best ways to ensure your good reputation is spread far and wide. “knowledgeable and helpful” are two of the more common words you see when it comes to the good reputation of a business. Did your staff know what they were talking about and could they solve my issue? You need to ask yourself if you feel your staff is trained enough to handle just about anything from a customer. And do they have the authority to do what is necessary to assist that customer?
How you treat your customers in good times and not so good times is very important. Even if you decide you don’t want that person as a customer anymore, you should still think about the way they are treated when things go wrong. When there is a dispute about payment, is a very good example. You could get angry and call that customer and demand payment or ask them why they haven’t paid you in a hostile tone. Which will only lead to not getting paid and them spreading negative word of mouth about your business. Or you could be nice, respectful and considerate of their situation and try to resolve that payment issue with tact. If that doesn’t work, make sure your next step is handled with care such as the collection agency you choose. Again, even if you don’t want to do business with that customer anymore, you should still treat them with respect and the collection agency you work with should do the same.
We never had this issue ten years ago but now it has become part of doing business. Online reviews come from all angles. From Google, Facebook, Yelp and others such as review site for contractors, there is ample opportunity for both benefit and trouble in online review site. For the most part, they are unregulated. If someone wanted to cause you trouble, they can go online and write a bad review. Potential customers see that and without talking to you first, you now have a reputation for whatever that person felt was an issue.
On the other side, positive online reviews can help you tremendously. And you should actively seek them from your best customers. The more positive reviews you have, the less damage a negative review will have on your business.
There are two schools of thought on online reviews and responding. First, many say respond to everything bad or good. Others feel that if you start responding to bad reviews, you’ll end up in a public argument with some for everyone on the internet to see. If it does not go well, that’s part of your online record. You have to decide whether a public dispute is worth your reputation.
By the way, if you’ve had a positive experience with this collection agency, and want to share your thoughts, Google American Profit Recovery Michigan and tell the world how we’ve helped your business.
Managing your reputation in this digital age is a whole new world and one you need to keep an eye on. Consumers now have the tools to damage your business very quickly and it’s up to you to make this a priority.