There are many things you can do to improve the customer’s impression of your business, many of which occur in plain sight. However, there are even more things you can do to improve the customer opinion behind the scenes.
Rebekah Iliff, an entrepreneur, writer, and public speaker, explains that PR professionals often struggle to pull off a good reputation because they focus too much on outward factors.
“Direct PR, like direct marketing, does not exist. And it never will,” she writes in an Inc.com article.“We must accept that PR is at first an art, and then a science. Not the other way around. Our opportunity, then, is building a framework around solidly-based practices of art that will allow us to have intelligible conversations about what we bring to the table.”
It’s the little things that build the foundation of a good company. Here are just a few things that you can do to maximize your company’s best efforts and entice greater customer loyalty.
1. Build a fantastic website
First impressions are powerful. Peep Laja, author for ConversionXL.com, says that people quickly form their first impression of a website along with the associated company. “It takes about 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds) for users to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they’ll stay or leave,” Laja writes.
Your website is like a window into the soul of your company. Developing a website that considers factors like structure, spacing, text, colors, fonts, symmetry, white space, and more will help you develop a stronger website that your customers can trust.
2. Boost your content
When you’ve established a beautiful, high-functioning website, a good content strategy is perhaps the most powerful tool at your disposal. The content you publish speaks to customers on a personal level, explaining complex concepts, resolving problems, debunking misconceptions, and showing the value in your business.
A good content strategy will include blog posts, videos, graphs, social media content, and more. You’ll also want to include high-value supplemental content that helps consumers with their purchasing decision.
This is particularly important when working within the realm of your niche. For example, this product page for gas fireplace inserts provides a detailed buyers guide at the bottom of the page. This high-value content indicates to potential buyers that the company truly cares about their purchasing experiences. They made it as simple as possible to gather all the necessary information.
3. Staff your customer service team
Nothing influences the customer’s opinion like customer service, for better or for worse. Having a good customer service team is essential to pulling off a great customer experience. You’ll want to look for individuals who are personable, empathetic, and intuitive. Avoid those who may have a short temper and lack the patience necessary to work through challenging situations.
More important than hiring a good customer service team is developing policies and standards that balance the customer’s best interest with those of the company. Strict, unforgiving policies will come across as harsh and unfeeling to your customers, no matter how nicely your customer service team delivers them.
Also, develop a procedure for when things go wrong. Nobody expects you to be perfect, but they do expect you to apologize for mistakes and try to make things right. Train your staff to make educated decisions when working with customers and refer them to a manager when it’s beyond their abilities.
4. Be authentic and consistent
Being transparent and reliable in literally everything you do will set you up for success.
“The importance of being authentic and consistent cannot be underestimated,” Troy Smith, founder of SearchOptics, told Forbes. “Customers must be able to count on the company to deliver the same outstanding products and services over time. And if an issue ever arises, they need to know that it will be addressed immediately and with individual consideration.”
This level of consistency means making transparent decisions, even when no one is looking. It embodies every aspect of running a great business, and when you’re consistent in the little things, it will easily be seen with the bigger ones.