1. Be real and be there
If you own a business it helps to be there in person while getting involved. Too often business owners delegate all responsibilities to their employees and never really see the daily goings on at their company. They are losing out on the opportunity to build relationships with everyone who stops by. Customers like to see the face behind the company. They like to feel that you care and are available.
2. Be real online
Social media can often feel too good to be real with too many staged photos and meaningless posts that veer on the negative. Do something different: be human. Your customers want someone that they can relate to and converse with. This builds trust and creates a customer for life. A great way to do this is by sharing photos of your company and behind-the-scenes of daily events with your team. Believe it or not, being authentic has magnetic energy to it!
3. Handle concerns and complaints
It’s important to address issues right away. Do not wait and do not delete their comments. Many companies avoid concerns brought to their attention on their Twitter and Facebook pages. Some companies will even set their page to stop all outside posts. Always make it easy for customers to contact either through your website, email or on social media. If it’s easier, sent them a direct message so it takes it away from your social media.
4. Be a sleuth
Always listen to any word of mouth that may be going on regarding your company. Many customers will let business owners know that they are new to your business. Ask them how they found you and let them talk about their first impressions. This is the perfect time to go that extra mile. If they came to your store on word of mouth, they will most likely pay that forward if they had a great experience.
5. Treat your employees well
Nothing creates a bad reputation faster than a boss that treats their employees badly. Again, this can harm your reputation especially if you live in a small town. Employees are the backbone of any company. They are there to help you and to earn a living while doing it. Respect them and they will treat you and your reputation with respect. Loyalty builds loyalty!
6. Treat your customers like family
Treat your customers like your company depends on it because it does. Without them your company would not survive. Always be in tune to what your customers need and are looking for. Offer advice and let them know you care.
7. Really listen
Active listening is not something we were born with. It is something we have to learn, hone in on and master over time. When a customer knows you are really listening then you have started a great relationship that will benefit you long into the future.
8. Get involved in your community
Giving back to your community by volunteering, teaching, offering seminars or helping coach a little league team can help everyone included. If you love your community and want to thrive there, giving a part of your time will help your community grow.
9. Create a support system
Create a place on your website that allows your customers to contact you about concerns. The easier you make it for them to contact you the better things can get resolved while keeping it off social media. This also allows you to gain valuable feedback about your business and things that can be improved on. The more you know, the more your business can grow!