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Word of Mouth Can Make or Break Your Business. Protect Your Reputation!

We know everyone has been trying to sell you on branding lately. Everywhere you go it’s brand this, do that for a stronger brand, here a brand, there a brand… get the idea. We’re here to tell you that unless you happen to be the owner or CEO of a multi-million dollar corporation, you don’t have the resources to establish a brand. What you do have though is everything you need to establish a reputation and, in most cases, that’s more important than a brand anyway.

Think about it, what companies do you know that you automatically recognize their brand? Coke, Pepsi, Roxy, maybe some of the social media platforms? Well, they probably have a lot more money and resources than we do. So, what’s a company to do? Easy, get known in your community for all the best reasons!  All it takes is a great customer experience program, attention to detail, and a caring environment for your employees.

Okay, so right now you’re thinking, “Oh, it that all?”  Well, it’s a lot easier than it sounds and, it definitely costs less than branding does. All you need to do is establish a few good systems and stay connected to your community. The reason we say a few good systems is because you need to address your online community a bit differently than the community you live in. For example:

  1. Selling systems
  2. Return process
  3. Delivery process
  4. Engagement strategy
  5. Special offers

The good news is, you don’t have to build a whole bunch of different systems. You just need one system for each aspect of your business and then adapt each for the online world, if you happen to sell there. So, what systems are you going to need to operate your business for maximum reputation? There’s a few behind the scenes and a few up front and personal ones. Systems such as:

  1. A good accounting system: Part of establishing a reputation of excellence is making sure your clients are getting their billing and receipts in a timely fashion and that their accounts are always up to date and accurate. If there are glitches, make sure you get the situation rectified A.S.A.P.  This is true whether you are managing the system or not. If you have a bookkeeper, make sure they are on top of things because your reputation is in their hands.
  2. An excellent customer experience strategy: From how your customers are greeted to cash out process and everything in between. If you treat your customers right, they will tell everyone and you can be sure they’ll be coming back for more too. This also means that your team members must know they are fully supported in their roles. When your team feels they are cared for then, they will be more than happy to look after your customers properly. That means that more than sales process is needed, you also need to have well established boundaries with your customers and an exit strategy for your team members if they should find themselves in difficult situations.
  3. Follow up strategy: What happens after your customers or clients have paid and left? Do you keep in touch with them? What kind of follow up system do you have? If you want to have a reputation of excellence that will keep your clients thinking about you, you have to have a way to stay connected.

Remember, these things work online too. You just have to tweak them a bit to suit the platform. On time invoicing, easy to use websites, great information on your social media, surveys, and newsletters are all a part of keeping up to date with your community. When you have all these things working together in a positive way, your community will respond by supporting you.

One last tip, it never hurts to get involved in your local community. Step up and help out the next generation of business owners, give your time, or whatever other resources you have, to those in your community that aren’t as fortunate as you are, or join a board that benefits your community. Not only do you get to be known but, helping is a great way for everyone to feel that something is getting accomplished.



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