Establishing credibility is key for small businesses, particularly in an age where over 90% of customers read reviews before making a purchase or contacting a company. If you run a business, there are several ways to enhance and protect your reputation, build confidence and trust in your brand and create strong relationships with clients. Here are some top tips to boost small business credibility.
Deliver on your promises
Failure to deliver on promises is one of the most common reasons customers complain or leave negative feedback. If you make a promise to a client and you don't meet their expectations or standards, they will be disappointed. They may think twice about using your business again or recommending it to others.
If you make statements about the quality of your products, or you pledge to deliver an order within a set period, for example, make sure you follow through. Be realistic about what you can achieve and manage expectations. It's better to be honest about the service you provide than to make a promise you cannot fulfil. If you can't hit targets for reasons beyond your control, take steps to minimise the impact and protect your reputation. If an order is delayed, contact the customer, explain the situation and offer a solution. You could refund the delivery charge or offer a discount on the next order, for example.
Customer feedback is incredibly valuable. If clients or buyers leave reviews or comments, make sure you read them and take them on board. Around 93% of people now read online reviews. If people make the same observations or they complain about the same problems repeatedly, this will reflect badly on your business. Act and use suggestions and ideas to make your brand better.
If you listen to your customers, this will make your company more credible, and it could also help you to boost customer retention rates. This is critical, as research suggests that existing customers spend more than new clients. If you impress repeat customers, they may also recommend your business to friends, family members and online followers.
Prioritise compliance and legal processes
There are measures, systems and regulations in place to protect consumers, employees and employers. If you manage a business, it's vital to ensure that you understand the importance of compliance and the benefits of ensuring that you are up to date with health and safety rules and legal and financial processes that improve security and transparency.
For example, if your business operates within the financial sector, it's important to research regulations and protocols. You can find out more about LEI numbers from sites like LEI Register. If you run a health or dental practice, ensure that you are familiar with industry-specific data protection, hygiene and waste disposal rules. If you are not fully compliant, you run the risk of penalties and legal action and your reputation will suffer.
Engage with customers
Over 95% of customers say that trust is influential when choosing whether to be loyal to a brand. One of the best ways to establish trust and increase confidence is to engage with customers and create long-lasting relationships.
Use social media to show off the human side of your brand, interact and communicate with followers and customers and tell people more about the business. Introduce your team, share your values and company culture, tell followers about how and why you launched the company and feature real customers. Invite people to like, share and comment on posts, respond to comments and answer questions. Almost 90% of consumers buy from brands they follow on social media. You can also use email marketing and blogging to build connections with customers.
Implement quality control measures
Good quality is crucial for making a positive impression and encouraging customers to recommend your brand and buy from the business again. Poor quality can put buyers off and make them feel like they've paid too much or bought an item they can't use. Implementing quality control measures is an effective way to maintain high standards, meet client expectations and reduce the risk of errors and negative feedback.
Many customers consider the price of products and services when choosing which businesses to buy from, but value for money is often more important than the cost. Almost 60% of shoppers would pay more for excellent customer service and consumers are also more likely to pay a higher price in exchange for extras and perks. Examples include free or fast delivery, gift wrapping and personalisation.
Using better quality materials is another option to attract buyers. Look for ways you can add value for your customers. It's beneficial to carry out market research, analyse competitor offers and ask customers for ideas to help you pinpoint strategies that will appeal to your target market. If you sell products on your website and other companies are offering the same products at a similar price but also provide free shipping or an option to add a second item for a discounted price, for example, you may struggle to compete.
Create a strong team that shares your values
Your employees are likely to play an integral role in how customers perceive your business. Creating a strong team that shares your values is essential. Take the time to meet candidates when you are hiring and get to know them. Professional expertise, skills and experience are important, but so are character, personality and core values. It's also wise to choose agencies or freelancers carefully if you are outsourcing. You want the people you employ or work with to enhance your brand image and reputation.
Credibility is extremely important in an age where customers have an interest in brand values, culture and history and over 90% read reviews. To boost credibility, it's beneficial to use feedback, ensure you can deliver on promises and keep up to date with rules and regulations. Engage and interact with customers, create a strong team and prioritise quality and customer service. Try to add value for your clients and look after loyal customers.
Copyright 2022. Article was made possible by site supporter Jeremy Bowler.