Everything You Need to Know to Establish a Good Company Reputation
A good company reputation doesn’t happen by accident and it’s valuable in its own right.
A good reputation can promote referrals from people who hear about the quality of your work or product. Let’s say you heard from half a dozen people about how great the food is a local Italian restaurant. Even if you never ate there, you’d probably recommend it to someone looking for an Italian restaurant.
Why? It’s got a good reputation with people you trust.
That said, creating that reputation requires sustained work over time. You must deliver on multiple fronts again and again.
So let’s jump in and look at some specific things you can do to build that good company reputation.
Offer Excellent Customer Service
Excellent customer service is something that many companies claim to offer and most fail to deliver. This failure comes at a cost.
Some companies with reportedly bad customer service include:
- Spirit Airlines
- Wells Fargo
- United Airlines
Some companies that made a recent list of most hated companies include:
- Spirit Airlines
- Wells Fargo
- United Airlines
Customer service isn’t the only culprit here. Still, it stands to reason that the customer service issues contribute to the hatred these companies face.
Good customer service isn’t a black box. In fact, most of it stems from simple respect.
Never forget that the customer is the one spending money with your business. Listen when they give you feedback and respond accordingly. If you can, fix things when they go wrong.
After all, we live in a time when customers can spend 15 minutes just trying to navigate a phone menu before getting put on hold. A little respect and some good faith efforts can leave you looking like a rock star.
Know When You Should Say No
Sooner or later, almost every successful business faces a particular dilemma. The company gets offered work that everyone knows it shouldn’t take on.
Sometimes, the business just can’t muster the resources to do the job well. If you’re already working at close to capacity, taking on more work is a recipe for failure. Even if you somehow finish the job, it won’t prove top-shelf work.
You end up with an unhappy customer who will almost certainly complain.
Other times, the work just isn’t the right fit for the business. Maybe the client works in an area that the business doesn’t understand well or there’s a culture clash. Either way, you won’t deliver at the top of your game.
Saying no isn’t natural for most businesses. It certainly looks bad from a financial perspective.
Yet, you risk doing substantial reputation damage when you take on work you know you shouldn’t.
Watch Out for Online Reputation Killers
If you’re in business today, you cannot escape the Internet. Minimally, you’re probably running a website and a couple social media profiles.
Starting with your website, make sure your hosting service guarantees 99% uptime. A website that goes down all the time alienates your customers and damages your search engine rank. It also makes your business look unprofessional.
Look at it from the customer perspective. They’ll think something like:
“My nephew keeps his ridiculous blog about pasta sculptures up all the time. Why can’t your business site available?”
There are other, more pernicious online threats to your company reputation. One of those threats is bad reviews.
You can’t stop people from posting bad reviews, but you can usually comment on them. Take advantage of that option and explain the steps you took to try and resolve the issue. Most people won’t hold the review against you if the steps were reasonable.
Some people will take things one step further and get into online defamation. That happens when someone specifically says false things about you or your company. Here’s the difference.
Bad review: “They overcooked my steak and the potatoes were cold. Also, my waiter seemed more interested in his phone than doing his job.”
Online defamation: “The staff at this restaurant worships Satan and sacrifices children in the kitchen.”
Obviously, you must deny the allegation, but it can also provide grounds for legal action on your part.
Develop Quality Content
Putting out quality content is another way of cementing a good company reputation. What is quality content?
Quality content must hit three essential points:
- It’s useful
- It’s interesting
- It’s relevant
Maybe even more importantly, it’s all of those things for your intended audience.
An article about using the potential use of sound in quantum computers might prove interesting, but it’s not useful or relevant if you run a bakery. On the flip side of that equation, someone working in quantum computing probably shouldn’t offer advice on making cheesecakes.
Assuming your content does hit all those points and it’s for the right audience, you get some real benefits.
It demonstrates your mastery of the topic. Customers and peers will start trusting your opinion. That increases the odds they’ll think of you when someone asks for a recommendation.
Quality content can draw in customers from unexpected sources.
Say that Larry reads your article about building the house of the future because someone shared it on social media. He passes the link along to Jane, who lives in your general area and plans on building a house. She decides to hire you.
Stranger things happen every day.
Parting Thoughts on Establishing a Good Company Reputation
Establishing a good company reputation isn’t a fluke or an overnight process. You must work at it over time.
You must deliver excellent customer service wherever you can. Businesses that fail at customer service damage their own reputations and cost themselves money.
It means saying no when work comes your way that you can’t do well. If you lack the resources or it’s a bad fit for some other reason, recommend a company you think can do it well. You’ll end up looking good for not wasting someone’s time and money.
Don’t passively accept online reputation killers like downtime, bad reviews or online defamation. They’ll burn your reputation if you let them.
Produce solid content. Relevant, interesting, useful content proves your knowledge. That encourages referrals and can lead to unexpected opportunities.
Want some other ideas for improving your business rep? Check out this post about live chat and customer service.