Whether you are trying to get a new company off the ground or managing your small business that has existed for years, it is crucial to devote a significant amount of time and energy to building your credibility. Few qualities are more integral to a business’ success than its reputation among consumers, so it is worth regularly checking in with your brand’s credibility and looking for ways to improve it.
There are many ways to improve your company’s reputation for honesty and reliability – so many, in fact, that it can seem like a daunting task to undertake – but there are a few guiding principles that should never be ignored. Read on for the best ways to build, maintain and improve your business’ credibility.
Consumers tend to trust hard data more than they do abstract descriptions or general proclamations. This knowledge should guide your approach to branding and marketing. You don’t want to overdo it with unnecessary figures, but you shouldn’t be afraid to use a few carefully selected numerical statements to give your customers a clear and direct understanding of the usefulness of your product or service.
Of course, this requires you to actually dig in and conduct some research and advanced analysis. This doesn’t mean you need to shift the bulk of your focus toward conducting surveys and studies, but it does mean you should always be on the look out for strong evidence. Every once in a while, conduct a simply survey of your customers or measure a specific quality of your product. It may seem like you don’t have much time to spare, but any time you invest into unearthing useful data will ultimately provide a strong ROI.
Use customer reviews
Although numerical evidence is a crucial ingredient in your brand’s reputation, it is not the only one. In fact, some people would argue that it is even more important to offer opinions from customers. Unlike data, which can be manipulated and massaged to say almost anything, customer reviews are essentially unimpeachable.
Provide room on your website for customers to share their views. Monitor this section closely and look for quotes that can help you demonstrate your hard-earned credibility to others. If it doesn’t seem to be attracting too much action, offer some prompts that customers can respond to. Not only will this help you boost engagement, it will (hopefully) provide you with some specific quotes that you use in promotional activities.
It may seem like one of the best ways to improve your company’s reputation is to make claims about your products or services that attract customers and inspire discussion. However, there is ample opportunity for this strategy to backfire. The more bold claims you make, the greater the opportunity there is for customers to be disappointed, which, of course, can tarnish your reputation.
Instead of making overly broad or bold claims, focus on what you truly believe to be the best qualities of your company. Verify the accuracy of these claims and then use these as the heart of your marketing efforts. This doesn’t mean you need to make tepid or overly cautious product claims, it just means you should be wary of the always tempting, but often risky, bold claim.
Focus on customer service
Clearly, your customers hold the key to your brand’s reputation, so it is vital that you do everything you can to keep them happy. This doesn’t have to stop at prompt and courteous responses – although it should certainly start there – as you can often use special promotions, useful content and new products to bring more customers into your camp.
What have you done to improve your company’s credibility? Share your best tips in the comments below!