Whatever type of business you own, in the digital age managing your reputation is more important than ever. Consumers have become accustomed to checking reviews before they make their purchases, and will often consult others through word of mouth, review sites, or social media posts. For companies just starting out, a spate of bad reviews or poor management of the brand can be seriously damaging. So, to help avoid the pitfalls, we present 7 ways to manage your brand in 2020.
- Create a Trustpilot listing for your business: when businesses are still establishing their brand, often a potential customer will have concerns about whether what is on offer is legitimate. It is a sad but true fact of life that with the ease of establishing e-commerce sites and the rise of drop shipping, dubious and scam online shops are becoming more frequent. Simply having a presence on Trustpilot may reassure many; though you should take care to manage reviews as they are posted and respond to both negative and positive comments in a polite and professional manner.
- List your business on relevant trade directories: if you are offering a service such as construction or gardening, it may be worth your while to have a listing on sites such as Checkadtrade.com which provides a curated platform of trusted contractors in each field. Signing up to these sites involves a monthly subscription as well as providing information and documentation in relation to your business. There are also many specific industry bodies and listings, for example the Arboricultural Association for tree surgeons, which may provide accreditations or directory entries to help boost your reputation.
- Consider using a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) to manage your feedback: if you are an established brand receiving a lot of interactions across social media, support tickets, or direct e-mail, using a CRM to manage these interactions and to ensure a swift and satisfactory resolution of issues is a must. A whole host of software exists to do this, with a varying array of functionality, but most will integrate with the various channels you receive feedback and support requests on and will allow standardisation and management of your responses all in one place. More advanced features include allow customers to upload photos of products which may have been damaged or defective.
- Constantly refine your customer experience: with the explosion of choice and the ease of online shopping, customers expect the process of signing up, signing in, and ordering the product and service to be seamless, secure, fast, and easy. The best defence against negative reviews and feedback from customers is to prevent them happening in the first place. Ensure your systems provide a smooth user journey, and that all your fees are transparent and upfront. The customer should be informed about what they are purchasing, the delivery times, and if it is a subscription service, the costs and cancellation terms should be clear.
- Get vocal on social media: engaging with customers, running promotions, and putting out teasers for your products as well as advertising what’s in the pipeline are all great ways to show your brand is thinking about the future and its customer base. The old maxim that people sell to other people also remains true and putting a face to a business reassures customers and invites future business relationships. Creating team profiles and about us sections shows off the size and talent of your business, and further cements your reputation.
- Be an authority in your field: whatever your industry, increasingly customers and B2B connections want to see a brand with a strategy that is engaged in the conversation about where the industry as a whole should be going. To do this, contribute regularly to relevant industry blogs and magazines, attend conferences, and create your own space on your website for opinion pieces and guides.
- Last but not least – don’t neglect customer service and product quality: all of the above steps won’t help you if your customer service or product is subpar. The easiest way to build trust is to simply design and sell a great product at an affordable price, and to ensure you have a team of well trained, polite and efficient staff in place should any issues arise.
At UTP, as we deal with financial transactions reputation is everything. We have built our brand on transparency, and you can check our Trustpilot here. We regularly update our blog with information for SME as well as industry news, and you can see what our team is up to on Instagram page. If your business is looking to make significant savings on card payments, or online eCommerce payments, get in touch and see how much we can save you!