A bad reputation will cost you.
You’ll pay at least 10% more when trying to recruit your top talent. It’s hard to attract and keep great employees.
It can cost you 50-70% during customer acquisition. And you’ll lose customers to the competition.
We hear a lot about managing your brand reputation online. But what about your offline reputation. In the days of digital, does it really matter?
Yes, you need both to have a good reputation. Let’s explore how to manage it offline.
1) Deliver Consistent Customer Service
It all starts here. This is the area of your reputation around which you have the greatest control.
A business does this by:
- Reliably delivering product or service
- Providing support before, during and after
- Meeting expectations
Always trying to exceed expectations can set your employees and company up for failure. Focus on consistency first. Master it. Then move on to wowing your customers. Brand reputation suffers when you put the cart before the horse.
When you’re ready to take your service up a notch, strategically find simple but meaningful ways to go above and beyond. Through it, you’ll ensure that customers always have something to brag about.
These days, social media is the first thing that comes to mind. But actual word-of-mouth is much more powerful when it’s harnessed.
Connect with your customers offline. Provide that consistent experience. Find those little, but meaningful ways to impress.
Hand out comment cards and encourage real-time feedback from customers. Show them that you value their feedback and work to implement improvements.
You’ll become the company that they want to share with their friends and family.
And yes, they’ll likely share on social too.
3) Customer Appreciation
To manage your offline brand reputation, show your customers you care in ways that they can hold in their hands.
Online coupons are great. But there’s just something about providing a physical reputation of our appreciation. It connects on a more meaningful level. Send your customers something fun and/or useful through the mail.
Hand things out in your business.
Offer them freebies, discounts and exclusive offers that show you value them.
4) Asking for Reviews/Referrals Up Front
Whether you’re working with customers on the phone through a VoiceOnyx system or working will customers in person, asking for reviews before service is rendered works for several very important inter-connected reasons.
Humans are wired to feel best about your company before the service is rendered. It feels good to anticipate a service or product.
By asking for the review before, you demonstrate your commitment to providing good service. This sets an expectation in the customer’s mind that you’re going to provide great service.
It will impact how they see your action because they know you’re trying to please them.
Finally, they’re more likely to reach out privately if something doesn’t meet standards because you’ve laid out this expectation that you aim to please.
5) Manage Your Online Reputation
Your online and offline reputation are very interrelated. Your online reputation can lay the groundwork for offline interactions.
Manage both online and offline equally.
Track what people are saying about your brand, even when it’s hard to read. Address what you can and manage the rest.
Whether Off or Online, It’s All Brand Reputation
Brand is all one image. And this image matters. A bad reputation can cost you. Focus on both reputation and image for successful brand management.
What would you add to our tips? Please comment below.