Most of the purchases now begin online, from the comfort of your customers’ homes. That’s where they get their recommendations from, look up the reviews, or read about the satisfaction of other customers with the purchase they’ve made.
Sometimes, a few negative comments or bad reviews can make all the difference when it comes to a customer’s decision to do business with you. If you want to improve your brand image, increase the engagement of your customers with your brand and boost your sales, your reputation needs to be brilliant. Here are a few simple ways how to achieve this.
To be able to enhance your brand image, you need to make it recognizable first, making sure that the name and the logo of your business bring associations to both what you do and more importantly, how you make your customers feel.
This goal can’t be achieved unless your brand’s identity and message are consistent in all the touchpoints between your business and your customers, starting from the colors and the font you use, uniforms your employees wear, tone of your brand’s voice and values it stands for.
To build a strong brand that can gain recognition, make sure you’ve settled its visual identity first, and made it consistent through all platforms and media your business uses to interact with customers. Determine how you would love your business to be perceived by your customers, and do your best to become that by implementing your values into direct customers’ experience.
Improve your customer service
Loyal customers are hard to earn but so easy to lose, and such a loss can be quite costly too. It takes anywhere from 5 to 25 times more resources to acquire a customer than to keep one, while only one negative experience can be enough for 51% of customers to never do business with your brand again.
Still, it’s not only a monetary loss you will have to deal with, but a harmed reputation too, as an unhappy customer is going to spread the news about their dissatisfaction to 15 other people on average, and talk about it on social media too.
In order to improve your customer service and enhance your business image at the same time, here are some steps you might consider taking:
- Don’t let your customers wait. When complaints are made, three-quarters of your customers expect your customer service representative to contact them in less than five minutes. If they’ve reached out to you via chat, the expected response time should be shorter than 45 seconds.
- Try to resolve issues as soon as you can, as 29% of customers value the first contact resolution mostly when it comes to customer service and support.
- Be there for your customers 24/7. Consider using live chat and chatbots to provide your customers with timely and adequate information they might need while browsing your website.
- Be honest when interacting with your customers and genuinely apologize for mistakes on your part.
- Personalize the experience of your customers with your brand, make sure that all your offers are based on their individual needs.
Ask for referrals and recommendations
Not many techniques can deliver such tremendous results in enhancing your business image as word-of-mouth marketing. The secret of its success lies in the very foundations of human nature and the simple fact that when we care, we share, as we want to help our important ones to be as successful in solving their issues, just as we are.
We share what we find useful, and when it comes to the brands we’ve opted for, half of us would be glad to post a review or share their positive experience with other people on social media. On the other side, consumers most commonly check reviews before deciding on a purchase, and these reviews and recommendations impact their purchasing decisions.
According to studies, 92% of consumers trust recommendations they get from family and friends more than any other way of advertising, while 88% trust online reviews by other consumers as much as they trust personal recommendations.
Consider the ways to make these statistics work for you. Starting your own referral program, and incentivizing both your current and referring customer with a reward could be a great way to begin. Even Dropbox and PayPal used such a strategy to build their customer base, so when looking for ideas, learn from the greatest. You can also ask your most loyal customers or so-called promoters, to post recommendations for your business online. This way, you can get many micro and nano influencers working at your benefit and enhancing your business image in their circles. Net Promoter Score is a widely used customer feedback metric.
Use the power of networking
Whenever you can, both in the digital world and in face-to-face interactions, use the power of networking to build a reputation for your business. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Join a local networking group and attend meetings regularly. Face-to-face relationships are stronger than online ones and can present you with more opportunities.
- Organized your own local event and interact with your potential customers and business partners. Share your branded merchandise and your top-notch business cards and impress your visitors with professionalism.
- Take part in a local tradeshow and use the opportunity to get the word out about your company and establish a connection with new leads.
- Engage with others on social media profiles and other digital places.
- Join online industry-specific or local groups and be there for your target audience, helping them solve their issues.
- Have your own blog, write guest posts, take part in webinars and podcasts.
- Connect with thought-leaders and influencers in your industry.
Such strategies can help you establish a trustworthy and reputable position in your community, boost your brand image, and your customers’ loyalty.
Keep your promises
Whatever promise you’ve given to your customers- a piece of content that’s going to solve one of their aching problems, a reward for making a referral, or next-day delivery of your product, make sure you can live up to your own expectations. If you’re not sure you can run that extra mile, better wait until you’re ready than disappoint your customers, as they will think twice before doing business with you again or recommending you to their friends and family.
If nonetheless, problems do arise, contact your customers and let them know about it, and apologize for any inconvenience you’ve caused. This way, you’ll let your customers know that you genuinely care for them and their satisfaction, and establish a firm basis for a meaningful relationship.
By implementing these strategies into your everyday practice, you’ll enhance your business image and be able to keep it strong even when times get rough.
Salman is a prolific environmental writer, and has authored more than 500 articles in reputed journals, magazines and websites. He is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management, sustainability and conservation all over the world.
Salman can be reached on email@example.com