In the world of social media and customers having more options than ever before, it is not enough for a brand to sell good products at a reasonable price. Customers can buy items from a selection of businesses, but they must decide which brand gets their money. When customers are deciding between brands, reputation is often one of the most significant factors. Customers want to feel good about who they buy from as not all companies have the best reputation. Sometimes a reputation is incorrect or undeserved, but that is how the Internet works sometimes. Thankfully, your business’s reputation is not permanent, and there are many steps you can take to rectify or change your reputation. Improving your brand’s reputation is not an easy process, but it can be done by using the right tools to reshape how customers view you. Below are just a few of the steps you can take to change or rebuild your brand’s online reputation.
Deliver On Your Promises And Acknowledge Mistakes
Most brands start to look at their less than ideal reputation after an event where something went wrong. No matter what the event was or what happened, there are some excellent guidelines to follow to undo the damage. Customers want honesty and transparency from brands. You are more likely to be seen in a better light by admitting your mistakes and setting up a plan to make things right. Hiding issues and trying to move on will never give you the positive results you want as customers are more intelligent than some brands would like. Be honest with your promises, keep your word, and customers will be more willing to forgive so long as you continue working to make things better.
Offer High-Quality Customer Service
How you treat customers is a significant determining factor for your brand’s overall reputation. It is also one thing to be helpful for customers before they purchase an item versus afterwards. Most customer service calls, chats, or emails start after a customer has purchased something already and still needs help. How you treat customers after you have their money is what determines how excellent your brand truly is. Customers will tell their friends and family about their customer service experience, which can either bolster or drag down your reputation. The more customers feel like you are going above and beyond to help them with their issues, the better your reputation will be.
Customer service also encompasses more than just post-sale support. The overall experience for your customers will affect your reputation. Small business shipping is a complicated network, but customers will significantly appreciate more flexible shipping options and prices. Having your business contact information on each page may feel insignificant, but having those links at the ready will reduce customer frustrations. The little things matter, even if they seem too small, to make a difference because your customers will notice and remember which brands make their shopping life as painless as possible.
Help The Planet And Your Reputation
Many brands want to shake off the image of being just another for-profit entity, and customers want brands to be better partners in the community. Thankfully, these two goals go hand in hand where businesses get what they want and customers get what they want. Find ways your brand can contribute to your local community or donate to help fight pollution. Whatever activity you decide to do, ensure it is honest and helps the people you say you are helping. Performative charity is not viewed well, so commit to doing actual good with your brand as that is the only way you will get the benefits of a better reputation and customer favour.
Reward Customer Loyalty
Your brand’s long-time customers are a critical aspect of your audience that you cannot afford to lose. You need return customers who will still buy your products years later, and one way to keep those customers around is to reward their loyalty. Let customers accumulate points for every purchase that can be redeemed for a reward or offer a special discount to customers who are subscribed to your newsletter. You can get creative with how you reward long-time customers, and you can even ask them what kind of system they would like.
Improving or fixing your brand’s reputation is a process you cannot rush or expect to see results overnight. You must first understand what caused your reputation to falter and be honest when talking about mistakes. Honesty and transparency are more important to customers than ever before, so do not shy away from explaining what happened and how you will fix it. All elements of your customer service will affect your reputation, so ensure your customers are treated well through every type of interaction. Give back to your community and help your customers directly, but be sincere with your charity, or it may backfire. Set up a rewards program for your loyal customers to give them even more reason to keep coming back. Taking care of your customers on every front and talking with your community will help you recover your reputation over time.