You can market until your heart is content but if you are not focusing on your image and customer perception, what is the point?
Getting your brand out there and introducing products and/or services is great but your company’s success hinges on what the public, and more specifically your target audience, think about you. Your marketing needs to promote a positive company image to the general public. You want folks to think favorably of you when they see your logo or a piece of your marketing and the opinions of those who have used your services is of the utmost importance. One of the best ways to add a positive spin and get more favorable opinions from patrons is to focus on your customer service programs.
By putting the customer first and establishing a solid system that focuses on solving problems on a more personal level, you will increase the satisfaction of your client base. These clients then go forth and spread the word to others thus strengthening your public image.
You want to check in with your audience to see how to improve customer service programs as well as your own products and services. Here are a few ways to pulse check the public and strive to keep your image positive.
Surveys – You can get quick feedback by posting a quick survey on social media or create a more complex version that appears on your site. When a consumer takes a particular action, such as places an order or after they’ve received their product, you can have a survey pop up on your website or include the link in the packaging or email confirmations. This is a great way to find out what the consumers using your product or following your brand think and how they feel about your company.
Feedback Forms – Include feedback forms with checks, have them near your registers or include them with each billing statement. Allowing easier accessibility for a consumer to leave their opinions increases the likelihood that they actually will.
Host An Event – Once a year, host an appreciation event for customers or the general public and check in with them about how you are doing and what you can do better. It can be a movie night, job fair, industry convention, educational classes – anything in which you can provide value back to the community.
Employees – A great way to understand your customers is to talk with those who deal with them day in and day out. Whether they are customer service reps or front-line cashiers, find out what issues the customers talk about or where they are struggling with your product or service.
Online Aware – Your digital marketing agency can monitor when your brand is mentioned in real time. Across all social media platforms and searches, they can see what people are saying about your brand in general. They also monitor all reviews left on your company website and third-party pages to stay on top of customer opinion and address concerns or areas that need to change.
Walk Among Them – Don’t stay locked in your corporate office or in the warehouse of your store. If you have a physical storefront/restaurant, walk among your customers and ask them directly. You will find that when a customer knows they are speaking to a person responsible for making changes, they can be quite candid. If you have an online store only, find out where your target audience congregates and make monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly trips there to see how you are doing. For instance, if you sell wedding accessories online, you may want to hit up wedding conventions or bridal shows to see what consumers feel about your brand.
In the end, the only way your company can succeed is by listening to your customers and understanding how the public feels about you. From there you can make changes or perfect processes to increase your brand image and leave a more positive vibe about your company.
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