Even if you’ve been trying to get your small business off the ground for several months, success can always feel like an overnight phenomenon. One day your business was relatively unknown, and the next you’re suddenly flooded with requests from customers about your products and services. Initially, success feels amazing, but you soon come to realise that you’re always one misstep away from losing everything you’ve worked so hard to build. Your customers might not be waiting for you to fail, but they are also likely to abandon ship if they aren’t getting the service they expect. Here are just a few ways you can build a good reputation, protect it, and keep your customers loyal.
Most companies nowadays have a website and a social media page to promote their business and advertise their services to a wider audience. If you want to continue to make your small business a success, you should use your website and social media platforms to let your customers leave feedback. By using email and live chat to answer queries, you’re greatly improving customer services and making your business more accessible. Include several contact details on your website, so your clients know how to ask your their questions. Enable a direct message feature on your social media page and give an estimate for how long it usually takes you to respond. Establishing a reputation for reliable customer service will gain your customer’s trust and loyalty.
Monitor your reputation
Once you’ve made your business accessible on the internet, everyone will be talking about you. They will research your company ethics, check out reviews about your products, and judge you based on their findings of you and your company. No matter the size of your business, they (prospects, customers, clients…anyone and, potentially, everyone) are talking about you. They are tweeting about your latest product, leaving a comment on your blog, posting a Facebook update about their customer experience, and much more. You can try to steer the conversation yourself, but if you’re new to this and feeling out of your depth, then investing in reputation management might be useful for the first year or so. At least until you’ve established a strong following and you’ve gotten the hang of public relations, addressing criticism, and handling negative publicity.
Always be improving
You don’t stop putting effort into your business just because you’re starting to make a profit and your customers are happy. Sooner or later something will come along that might draw customers away from your business, especially if you don’t bother offering new services or improving the way you run your company. If you want to keep your business booming and your customers interested, you should always be tweaking your policies for improvement, researching ways you could improve your products and customer services, and avoid doing things that your customers hate.
If customers see that you’re always trying to be a better business owner, they’re more likely to spend money in your establishment in the future.