5 Ways to Build a Great Business Reputation

Lauren Sytsma's picture
Lauren Sytsma
Lauren Sytsma wrote:

Bottom line: exceptional customer experiences make your reputation a good one. Here are five ways to accomplish this, and build a great business reputation:

Develop Credibility
Always deliver what you promise at minimum.  The best way to do this is to under-promise and then over-deliver.  You’ll hurt your reputation if you make promises you don’t keep.

Provide Exceptional Value
Offer a free service or product for a period of time or special perks to loyal customers to provide value. Doing this can generate positive word of mouth, which goes a long way: 92 percent of people trust recommendations from family and friends. Providing exceptional value is worth it. 

Deliver Responsiveness and Reliability
Communicate with your customers constantly, and resolve complaints quickly. Own up to mistakes or delays and don't forget to apologize. A disgruntled customer can turn into a super fan if you resolve complaints effectively and with sincerity.

Communicate Efficiently
Keep communication with your customer’s brief, productive and professional. It’s important to be friendly, but also be to the point.  

Perform Community Service
Selfless generosity towards local organizations in your community goes along way. Let people see your dedication to and involvement in your community and your customers will see you – and your business – in a positive light.

A good reputation is fundamental to the success of your business.  Build your reputation with care and guard it once it’s established.  

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How have you built a great reputation around your business?

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2 Responses

Adrian Hargreaves's picture
Adrian Hargreaves
Adrian Hargreaves wrote:

Hi Lauren,

I totally agree, especially with the first two points (credibility and value).  Far too many companies unfortunately do the opposite, that is over promise and under deliver. In any market there is not an infinite supply of new customers.  Beware of those companies with high customer churn, particularly where it is matched by high staff turnover.

Of course some businesses operate that way because they have an agenda to maximise profits over the short term. However, businesses which intend to be around in 10-20 years time should want not only to retain customers, but grow those customers into long 'lifetime value customers'.  This can only be achieved, as you say Lauren, by both creating and delivering real customer value. 

The point I would like to add is having created value, is not to be afraid of then 'selling the value'.  In markets where the products are similar, selling value, particularly through service is sometimes the only way of creating real differentation which buyers are prepared to pay for.  Quality service is also very difficult for competitors to copy.  If a company has a genuine and innovative approach and goes the extra mile, it can be that which becomes the fundamental reason for doing business with it.

Companies that consistently over promise and under deliver cannot do this, their option often being to continually fall back into discount mode. Despite this customers will inevitably drop out, forcing an increased urgency for new business (often leaving even less time to spend with existing customers).  This may result in the better staff becoming demoralised and leaving, forcing the company to spend more on recruitment.  If this senario is repeated every year, profit is taken out of the business, with obvious potential consequences.

Alternatively, companies that deliver value and importantly sell that value, have a far greater chance of stability.  Instead of continually being on the back foot in defensive mode, they can instead focus on developing both their key accounts and high performing staff as well as attracting new profitable customers and staff who share the same values.

Lauren Sytsma's picture
Lauren Sytsma
Lauren Sytsma wrote:

Hi Adrian - great points! Thanks for contributing your expertise to the discussion.