Image Matters: Using it to Win Customers and Clients

Image Matters: Using it to Win Customers and Clients

Image Matters: Using it to Win Customers and Clients

Beauty may only be skin deep, but when it comes to a customer evaluating your business, it goes clear to the bone. What consumer hasn’t had the experience of being interested in a company’s service or product, only to be turned off by a shabby image? Think about all the things that can go wrong with your image: tacky and fly-by-night, cold and impersonal, dodgy and dishonest, or just plain incompetent. Avoid these pitfalls by following these tips to spruce up your business’ image.

Always put the customer first.

This seems like common sense, and yet how many companies dismiss your customer service concerns with “That’s our policy,” or “We can’t do that for you”? You win points with customers when you give them a little more than they expect, even if you have to bend your own rules for them. Give issues a personal, hands-on approach, and let your customers feel like they’re in good hands.

Make communication between you and your customers as easy as possible.

Your business, to a new customer, is like a tall glacier. They’re yelling at this wall of ice and not getting a response, or worse getting insulted by a voice-mail phone-bot or automated email replies. It’s worth it to spend the extra time and money to give customers a human voice to talk to. Keep a Twitter, Facebook, or blog stream open to talk about your company, and offer the comments section for feedback. Make sure a human being answers the phone eventually. Follow up email queries with deft problem solving. And it wouldn’t do any harm to send your best customer a thank you note.

Design matters.

We’re talking about your logo, stationary, business cards, brochures, storefront, and company website. When it comes to graphic design, money talks. Cheap, shoddy, or amateur designs make people think you’re too poor to afford a better design, lack taste, or are simply unprofessional. Even the design of your personal brand can make or break a deal—if your wardrobe consists of nothing but old, stained clothing, it’s time for an update. Refreshing your personal brand and appearance doesn’t have to mean bankrupting yourself–you can save on stylish, professional outfits with deals and coupons from yoox.com. Remember that it’s always worth it to improve yourself—even your outer appearance—and that your customers will notice when you do so.

Pay attention to your online reputation.

This is the biggest pitfall that companies fall to in the 21st century. Your customers and potential customers are certainly going to talk to each other, so you’d better be sure that’s a positive conversation. All it takes is one bad experience from one customer’s point of view, and they paste it all over social media badmouthing your company. Research when this happens and arrive on the scene, publicly offering to mend the situation. Maybe even reach out before it happens, by keeping an avenue of communication open. And has your company had a real breakthrough or achievement? Better toot your own horn out there. Good word of mouth is whispered, while bad word of mouth gets trumpeted from the rooftops.

The Public Relations side of business can feel like a hassle, but it’s crucially important to a healthy business. Your biggest asset can be empathy, able to put yourself in your customers’ place and feel what it’s like to do business with your organization.

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