Business Reputation Growth
How does a small business enhance and grow their reputation online? How can a frantically owner manage their Google reputation along with the tons of other responsibilities?
A business reputation marketing strategy is the foundation. Once a business has a strategy in place then simply concentrate on these two keys:
1. Have Great Products
2. Be responsive
Many thanks to Jason Dea, COO at Forewards who’s contributed the following article.
Great word of mouth, customer referrals, friend recommendations – These are the building blocks of every great business. The great thing about organic word of mouth marketing is that every business cannot only benefit from it, but every business can leverage it.
Even though research has shown the benefits of customer referrals and getting great word of mouth marketing, it’s sadly something that remains a bit of a mystery for many online businesses.
Don’t take your reputation for granted. There are a number of steps you can take as a business owner to ensure that your ecommerce business is getting the most bang for buck out of every customer mention.
In fact, here’s a simple 2-ingredient recipe to guarantee a foundation of positive word of mouth for your business.
Ingredient 1 – Great Products
As a business owner you no doubt have a tremendous amount of pride in the products that you sell. That’s for good reason; great products are at the core of every great business. Great products, and great experiences with products are also at the heart of every great referral and recommendation.
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While they’ve become a cliché of business over the years, Apple still stands at the forefront of the business world when it comes to building awesome customer loyalty and word of mouth by delivering great products.
Steve Jobs always understood this, and built a culture at Apple that obsesses over amazing products. That culture is something he instilled in the company from the company’s early days too. In fact here’s a great quote from back in 1983.
“We have an environment where excellence is really expected. What’s really great is to be open when [the work] is not great. My best contribution is not settling for anything but really good stuff, in all the details. That’s my job — to make sure everything is great.”
While not everyone can be (or wants to be) Apple; Taking pride in delivering great products to your customers should be a priority for every business – Especially for those who want to build their business through great word of mouth.
Business Reputation Growth
Ingredient 2 – Be Responsive
If there’s one element of your business that you can make an argument is even more important than your products, it is your customers’ support experience. Specifically it is how you deal with your customers not only before they buy from you, but how you treat them AFTER they buy from you.
In fact, there is some amazing research from MIT Sloan that showed that, it’s that customer support experience that makes the biggest difference when it comes to the word of mouth you get. Not only the positive word of mouth you get, but more importantly the negative word of mouth.
Their research showed that a staggering 97% of online complaints occurred after a “double deviation” event. That was defined as a customer having an initial issue with the business’ products or services, followed by an inadequate, or lack of response from the business to address the issue.
It’s an experience that we’ve all (sadly) experienced. Something goes wrong with a product we’ve purchased, and for some inexplicable reason, the company refuses to do anything to fix it. That’s a double deviation. And research shows those double deviations are the root cause of almost every online complaint.
So the message is clear – Respond, and respond well to the issues… or else.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. It turns out that businesses that DO in fact take steps to address customer issues also take advantage of a tremendous opportunity to build customer loyalty, and also build and increase their word of mouth as well.
Thinking about the referrals you get from your own friends and family for a minute. Sure, many of them are probably along the lines of “you should get a mac it’s great”, but I will bet that just as many, if not more of them sound like “you should get a mac, mine broke once and all I had to do was take it to the Apple store and they fixed it for me for free”.
That’s the power of great customer service. And it’s that great customer service that can be an amazing foundation for great word of mouth referrals as well.
The final piece of the puzzle is putting together a formal customer referral program. While providing great products and delivering great service is no doubt the cornerstone of your business’ reputation, a formal customer referral program can take that reputation to the next level.
As your business grows, you’ll no longer have the time to personally reach out to each and every customer to ask for a referral (although there is no harm in trying). Structured referral marketing programs save you time, and money by automatically soliciting referrals from all of your customers.
That type of automation, and the tracking and metrics that go along with that, can help you take your business to the next level.
Read more at http://www.business2community.com/communications/2-ingredient-recipe-guarantee-great-word-mouth-01130023#bUpuZiUpABYsuFMH.99