“The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.” (Socrates)
In business, just as in life you are only as good as your reputation. With the millions of dollars that are spent on advertising by everyone from small businesses to large corporations, word of mouth is still the best way to get that reputation…and the quickest way to ruin it. With the internet and social networking, word of mouth travels much quicker than it did just a few short years ago, as we saw in last week’s article about social media. With that in mind, it is very important to make sure that the words that your customers are spreading will be positive for your business. But what is the best way to do that? For the next 2 weeks, we will look at a few tips on how to receive the best customer feedback for your business.
Many businesses have discovered the importance of a good reputation, and just how important word of mouth can be in the pursuit of it. Unfortunately, this has lead to what some refer to as “cheating,” to obtain positive feedback from their “customers.” When these businesses cannot get the positive feedback quickly enough, or at all, they often resort to hiring writers to do it for them; sometimes on their own websites, and other times they actually hire writers to provide fake feedback on other sites.
In these cases, writers are hired to make accounts on various sites and leave comments and reviews for products and services that they have never used. It is a sad way to obtain undeserved praise, and most customers can tell if it is real or not. While some may use it to “outweigh” any negative feedback they have received, this form of obtaining feedback is not recommended for your business. If you provide good service, you won’t need to “cheat.”
Be What You Want Customers to See
Just like Socrates stated, the best way to gain a good reputation is to actually be what you want people to perceive you as. There are no magic tricks, no shortcuts to receiving the best in customer feedback. You have to consistently give terrific service and ensure that your customers enjoy doing business with you. Put yourself in their shoes. In the hotel business, for example, remember how you want to be treated when you are on vacation, or on a business trip. Take steps to make sure that your customers are treated in the way that you would want to be treated. Provide services which directly coincide with the rates that you charge for each service, and do not overcharge, no matter how tempting it may be.
Maintain a Professional Setting
Imagine that you have decided to have a security system places in your home. You set up meetings with a couple of home security businesses to help you choose which one is right for you. Business A has a home office that you are invited to. It is a small room inside their home where they meet potential clients. Although the setting is neat and clean, it just doesn’t really feel like a business office. Business B has you meet them in a coffee shop. They have a professional presentation of how their system works and what it can do for you. You get to see this presentation on their laptop over coffee and donuts. Now it is time to meet Business C. When you arrive at the address, you find an office building. You are seated in a waiting room for a short wait before being introduced to the representative in a private office. You are shown all of the ins and outs of the security system and how it will work for you.
Which of these businesses gave you the impression of professionalism? Most likely, you would choose the one with an office. With this scenario in mind, it is easy to see the importance of having a dedicated office to meet potential clients, customers, and colleagues. Even if your business cannot yet afford a fancy office building, Offix has shared office space to rent in Wellington. With private offices, private desks, meeting rooms, video conferencing rooms, and more this could be a great office solution. You can even lease these coworking spaces for a day, a week, a month, or a year, depending on your needs and budget. And having this professional setting to hold business meetings could boost your customer feedback as well.