Perception of your business is something that you have limited control over.
This is a statement that many entrepreneurs find that they struggle with. As they’re so accustomed to being able to control every aspect of their business, they see no reason why the way that the general public perceive their business should be outside of their remit. Nonetheless, you can’t control what people think of you.
However, that’s not to say there is nothing that you, as the entrepreneur, can do to influence the perception that your customers have of your business. There are certain behaviours, traits, and ways of operating a business that can help improve the public’s perception of your company. If you’re curious to give it a try, then here are the three behaviours — which handily form into an ABC, for ease of remembering — that your business will want to engage in to improve customer perception…
A – Authenticity
Authenticity is a vital component of a modern business. Essentially, this means that your company has to do as it says; avoid hypocrisy; and adhere to a lifestyle that it encourages. For example, if your company participates in events for or mentions Earth Day, then your business has to actually be as environmentally-friendly as possible. Modern consumers can sense a hypocritical business a mile away, so strive for authenticity wherever you can— your customers will appreciate your honesty and integrity.
B – Basics
To ensure that your customers have a positive perception of your business, you have to ensure that you get the basics of business right. What are the basics of business? Simple…
- Your website has to work 99% of the time.
- You respond to all customer communication promptly; ideally within two working days, and less time for complaints.
- You offer excellent, honest customer support.
Surprised the list is so short? There’s no need to be— at the heart of it, business is very simple. If you can guarantee the above, then most customers will have a good perception of your business.
C – Cohesion
To truly influence and encourage a positive perception of your business, you have to know what your business is— and then stick to it. It’s vital to define a business voice; a way of operating; and a code of ethics that is consistent. Even smaller areas of your business need to be cohesive; everything from using the same colour scheme throughout your literature to using the correct logo on your promotional trolley coins has to be in line. Your business needs to be instantly recognisable, both in looks and in deeds, to achieve true cohesion.
A cohesive business is a business that customers can trust. Customers don’t like surprises; they want to know that a business is as it has always been, so it feels familiar to them when they interact with you. Ultimately, customers always know what to expect from your company, so it’s up to you to ensure that your business is as cohesive as it can possibly be.
If you’re concerned about your inability to full influence perceptions of your business, remember that you do have some control— you just need to remember your…
Cover image: ABC!