WHY CUSTOMER PERCEPTION IS IMPORTANT
A company’s reputation is essential for many reasons. It affects how potential customers perceive the company and whether they are likely to do business with it. In particular, a negative reputation can quickly spread online in today’s interconnected world, damaging the company’s brand and affecting its bottom line. On the other hand, a positive reputation can help a company attract new business and retain loyal customers. Therefore, companies focus incredibly on creating a positive customer experience and managing their corporate brand carefully. By doing so, they can ensure that their reputation remains intact.
How to improve customer perception as an individual professional
As a professional, you can contribute to this overall reputation. Your reputation and company are on the line every time you interact with a customer, so it’s essential to be aware of how your behavior and words might be interpreted. There are a few key things you can do to improve customer perception and create a positive customer experience.
First, take responsibility for customer perception by focusing on your customer’s experience. If something goes wrong, own up to it and work to make it right. This shows that you’re committed to customer satisfaction and willingness to go the extra mile.
Second, be responsive to customer needs and concerns. Show that you’re listening and care about resolving the issue at hand. This demonstrates that you value the customer’s business and want to build a long-term relationship.
Finally, always keep your word. If you say you’ll follow up with a customer or have something ready by a specific date, make sure you deliver. This builds trust and shows that you’re reliable and dependable.
Challenges You Will Face Regarding Customer Perception
Yet, customer perception can be challenging, especially when dealing with unhappy customers. In those situations, it’s essential to have a plan to turn the customer’s perception around.
One way to do this is to take a proactive approach. That means reaching out to the customer before they have a chance to react to a negative situation. For example, if you know there’s been a delay in shipping an order, reach out to the customer and let them know what’s happening. Offering compensation, if you can, such as a discount on their next purchase, can also go a long way in improving customer perception.
Another way to improve customer perception is to ensure you and your team are always polite and professional. This can be difficult during times of high stress, but it’s important to remember that the customer is always right. Emphasizing customer perception can help instill these values in your team and ensure they represent your company in the best light possible.
Finally, it’s essential to take the time to listen to your customers. They’ll often have valuable feedback that can help you improve your business and your organization’s customer perception. Whether through social media, surveys, or face-to-face interactions, make sure you’re taking the time to listen to what your customers say.
Habits That Will Instantly Ruin Customer Perception
So, what type of behavior should you be avoiding? Unfortunately, there are many things that can ruin your chances of making a good impression on potential or existing clients. Here are some of the most common negative behaviors:
1. Being Unprepared
Being unprepared tells a customer that you don’t care about them and aren’t qualified to meet their needs. To put your best foot forward, consider what you need before a meeting. This includes gathering all the materials you must present and considering what you have to say.
2. Being Pessimistic
It’s essential to maintain a ‘yes’ attitude in business. Be open-minded to goals and tasks, even if it means going outside the box. People will admire your ‘can do’ attitude.
If, on the other hand, you refuse to meet challenges, constantly complain about the things that need to be done, or say nasty things about other people, you will be perceived as being difficult to work with. Clients will be reluctant to partner with you.
3. Being Disorganized
Being disorganized delays things and makes doing business with you inconvenient. It also shows you are incapable of handling serious business matters in an organized fashion.
If you find yourself struggling to stay organized, there are several tools that will help you keep track of your progress and assets. They can be applied in the virtual world and the real world.
For example, you can utilize folders and software on your computer and have all physical paperwork filed away, so it takes minutes to locate documents.
These tools will make it easier for you to find and provide information. It will allow you to serve clients in a timelier manner.
4. Being Late
Showing up late means you value your time more than your client’s time. It will also make things run behind, throwing everyone’s day out of whack.
Plan your day around the meetings you have to ensure you are punctual. Keep an eye on your mapping app so you can leave early if there’s unexpected traffic. If you tend to run late, aim to be 15 to 30 minutes early.
5. Being Gossipy
It’s not polite to talk about someone behind their back. But this type of behavior can be especially damaging to your reputation in the business world.
If you spread gossip about someone else, people will wonder if you will spread gossip about them. And if word gets out about you saying something negative about a former client or colleague, it could break networking ties and permanently damage your reputation.
It may be tempting to dish the dirt about other people. Some do it because they think it will make the person they are talking to like them more. However, gossiping often breaks more ties than it forges.
It’s always best to keep negativity out of the conversation, mainly if directed toward someone else.
6. Being Dishonest
In today’s world of business, people appreciate a sense of transparency. They want to know precisely what they are getting regarding pricing and service. It means staying true to your word.
Being dishonest negates transparency. It will cause you to lose clients’ trust, so they no longer want to do business with you. And if the word gets out about your dishonesty, it could ruin your business.
It’s always best to use a straightforward approach with clients. You may be tempted to brag about your business and make it seem like you are more established than you are, but this is never the best policy.
7. Dressing Inappropriately
When we think of the term ‘dressing inappropriately,’ we often think about looking overly sexy. This is definitely one way to look inappropriate, but it’s not the only way.
You may also dress inappropriately if you dress too casually for a formal occasion, such as an essential business meeting, or if you dress too formally for a casual occasion.
Not all of us are fashionistas. If you have trouble coming up with something to wear, have a few outfits in your wardrobe that you know are safe. You can use these as a template for coming up with other looks once you feel more confident about your sense of style.
8. Being Unprofessional Online
Technology plays a prominent role in the modern business world. You can bet that people will be looking up your social media and other online assets before they begin working for you. It’s advisable to keep them as professional as possible.
Refrain from posting pictures of you partying with your friends. Make sure your grammar and spelling are correct in the text you use. Hold off on saying anything overly negative in your comments. This will ensure that people will want to work with you even after seeing your social media.
Final Thoughts: The way clients perceive you will be directly related to your success. If clients like what they see, they will likely work with you. They may not want to move forward if they don’t get a good impression of you. The tips in this article will keep you from engaging in behavior that turns customers off. It will ensure you make the best impression possible.
Which of these will you be eliminating from your routine?
How to Ruin Customer Perception in a Nutshell
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