“We didn’t realize customers were talking trash about us. We didn’t have a good communication program and we weren’t able to react quickly when customers complained about our products. Our reputation was tanking and we didn’t know what to do.”
Vigilant companies know that their marketplace reputation can be difficult to build and maintain but oh so easy to lose.
Your company’s good name or reputation can be one of its greatest assets. A good corporate reputation can increase business, allow you to charge a premium for goods and services, encourage good talent to work for you and increase your company’s value in the marketplace.
What can you do to enhance or maintain your company’s reputation? Here are five steps to building a better reputation.
- Demonstrate trust. Be truthful and honest with customers. Keep your promises. Listen to their concerns and issues.
- Be responsive. Provide fast follow-up to customers’ questions and concerns. Ensure that customers know they’re important. Resolve errors and concerns quickly.
- Provide value. Offer goods and services at a fair price. Reward loyal customers and pay attention to their preferences.
- Maintain privacy. Keep customers’ financial information private.
- Communicate clearly. Communicate accurately with all stakeholders. Build and maintain an effective website. Provide customers easy access to more information and look for additional ways to interact effectively with them.
Make a positive impact at trade shows
One way of interacting with customers is to exhibit at industry trade shows. Here are six tips to enhance your company’s reputation in your industry.
- Exhibit at trade shows. Ensure your booth messaging makes an impact and that your company stands out in a positive way. A poorly constructed or shoddy booth could make customers and prospects think you’re not a market leader.
- Volunteer to speak. Become a speaker at trade show technical sessions. This demonstrates your industry and technical knowledge and underscores that your company is a thought leader.
- Show depth of expertise. Invite senior management as well as technical experts to meet with prospects and customers in your trade show booth. This can enhance your credibility.
- Use examples. Demonstrate how a product works instead of just listing its benefits. Prepare case studies to illustrate how your products and services can solve problems.
- Court trade media. Set up one-on-one meetings with trade publications’ writers and editors who will be attending the trade show. Supply them with press kits that contain information on products and services as well as company background facts. This effort can result in positive news articles after the trade show.
- Become a sponsor. Underwrite a speaker or luncheon. Host an event, such as a breakfast or cocktail party, in order to get better acquainted with customers and prospects.
It makes sense that a good corporate reputation can help a company’s profitability and relevance. Remember that building a reputation takes time and requires consistent actions. And, as most of us know, bad word-of-mouth can quickly destroy all of this hard work that took so long to build.