When people go into business, there is usually a business plan in place to ensure that it grows and gives an attractive return on investment.
A business brand is how potential customers and the business community identifies you. It can be the services offered or the team.
Companies spend time and finances ensuring that their brands are on top.
There are, however, a few things that businesses are not aware may be hurting their overall brand.
Luckily, these are issues that can be smoothed out.
Bad Customer Service Kills Your Brand
This is an issue that restaurants and other companies have to work on in order to keep the business going. When visiting a company, first impressions count to customers. How the front desk receives customers to how service is handled is key.
One of the things that could be hurting your brand perception is having staff who are not well trained in customer service. Staff must be trained on effective customer service practices to keep your brand perception positive to customers.
To begin with, the staff must offer service with a smile. Customers must also be quickly and effectively served so they consider returning to the business and telling others about it.
The staff need to be presentable and memorable to customers. For example, their uniforms must be clean and impressive. Reach out to a managed uniform rental service which will make sure your staff uniforms are always clean and will take care of any dirty uniforms.
Alsco offers such services and gives your staff that crisp, hygienic look at all times. Contact Alsco to get a free quote and learn more about the service.
An Outdated Website Drags Your Brand Down
It is important to note that customers will trust a business more when it has an updated website as well as accurate information online. But there are many instances where, regardless of how successful a business is, it overlooks and neglects the company website.
In order to keep a positive brand perception of your company, make sure there is a member of the team that is tasked with keeping the website up to date. Information like the company physical address, Google Maps directions and contacts must be updated as often as required.
You should also keep customers up to date with information about the company as well as respond to any chat program messages or emails received.
Forgetting to List on Google Find My Business or TripAdvisor Hurts
For a business in the hospitality industry, it is important to be aware that there are many competing restaurants, bars and hotels in any given area. Businesses tend to lose out on valuable clients because they don’t bother to get listed on online directories such as Google Find My Business or review sites such as TripAdvisor or Booking.com, which means they are not readily visible when searched.
According to a Reputation Benchmark 2019 report, Google, Tripadvisor and Booking.com have the highest review volume online with over 50 million views posted among them.
To build positive brand perception, make sure you connect with online directories. In addition, upload your business information on review sites so that visitors can share their experiences while helping with business ratings.
It’s no secret that managing reviews online, even on Facebook, can be hectic. But you don’t have to respond to all reviews, but instead, simply note that the feedback has been received. Have a team whose responsibility is to check out such reviews and get back to relevant queries.
Ignore Social Media at Your Peril
There are companies that are used to old-school business practices and social media is one of the more contemporary, but often vitally important, ways to stay connected to clients- regardless of age or demographic.
While it may often seem trivial, social media is very much one of the easiest ways to instantly connect with customers.
To build positive brand perception, start by opening social media accounts for your business. The most popular ones are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, with more always springing up every year.
Use your social media channels to announce new changes to the business, celebrate loyal clients and as a useful customer service channel. Ensure that complaints and queries are responded to as quickly as possible. Customers appreciate a company that responds to their questions and are likely to return for more services.
Never Close Your Ears to What Customers Are Saying
The business world is constantly changing and it is important for companies to be flexible to retain customers. Taking the time to do market and competitor research will help you adapt your business strategy and stay relevant while others fail.
And importantly, listen to your customers. For example, when customers constantly complain about a specific staff member or menu item, it is time to make the necessary changes.
Looking Into Loyalty Programs and Discounts
Businesses must have a loyalty program in place not just to attract new customers but to also show gratitude to loyal ones.
Make sure that the program in place is unique and long-term enough that it will keep customers coming. Loyalty programs do not have to be expensive and can simply message to customers wishing them a happy birthday or thanking them for being loyal customers.
Discounts a sure way to keep customers, but this is a double-edged sword. If a business constantly has discounts, it can be seen as selling inferior products. It gives rise to excess criticism of your products and this can chase away customers. Make sure they are offered during special days or holidays to keep scepticism to a minimum.
Tips for Building a Positive Brand Perception
- Hire competent management and staff. It goes without saying that your staff are the face of the company, and so they must be well trained and able to boost your brand.
- Have marketing and crisis communication plans in place. Have a long-term marketing plan which will help ensure that your business is visible. At the same time, have a crisis communication plan ready. This is important especially when your business is painted in a negative light in the media. You must be ready to respond and fix the problem in the quickest possible time.
- Build a customer database for your business. This is important because it helps you know who your customers are. You can use this database to send out updates about the business, acknowledge loyal customers and generally connect with them on a deeper level than advertising typically allows.
- Stand out from the competition with a unique selling point. As a restaurant, bar, bakery or coffee shop, identify what product is going to be your must-have for customers. This is the product that will create excitement and get people talking. Be aware that a unique selling point can change over time, so you must be ready to go with the flow and… adapt to change.