Managing Your Business Reputation
The reputation of your contracting business matters – most importantly to your customers. As I’m sure you know, having a poor reputation can dissuade customers from contacting you and it can do great harm to your business. As a contractor, word-of-mouth business is the lifeblood of your company. To make sure this part of your contracting business continues to thrive, you need to monitor your status in the eyes of your customers.
There are several steps you can take to ensure your contracting business’ reputation stays intact and doesn’t head south without you knowing it. Because your reputation is a reflection of your business and the services you provide, you need to stay on top of it and make sure it is positive at all times.
Take these steps to make sure your business’ status stays positive in the eyes of your customers.
1. Act The Part
This depends on you and your crew. If you are perpetually late or act unprofessional, customers will take notice and spread the word that you can’t be trusted to do the work you were hired to do. Little things such as appearing in a professional manner and conducting yourself in a qualified way can do wonders in the eye of the customer. Your actions are being monitored by your customer at all times and anytime you act in a way that gives off a bad vibe, your customers will notice and can be turned off. You need to prove yourself on every job and acting professional is one way to bolster your reputation.
2. Spread The Word
If you do good work, your customers will be happy to refer you to their friends and family. If you don’t, they will spread the word too – to avoid you at all costs. Your business’ reputation is at stake and a job well done will be rewarded. Ask your customers to spread the word about your business and offer them an incentive to do so. A small thank you for giving you a referral can go a long way in growing your business and can give you a reputation for providing quality work and being easy to work with. Customers will be happy to refer you, especially if they are happy with how their job turned out. A glowing review from a happy customer can improve your business reputation and get you more work in the process.
3. Stack Up The References
Nothing can be more valuable than having references of your work to show other customers. When a customer is able to see firsthand the quality of work that you do and hear from a past customer the experience they had working with you, they will be more apt to hire you to do their project. Every customer can turn into a reference if you ask them to. If they are happy with your work, ask them if they would let others know and provide you with a reference that you can be proud of.
If possible, try to get references for different types of jobs. Customers want to know that you can perform that specific task, so matching a reference to their similar job boosts the effectiveness. Also, offering references to prospective customers ahead of time often shows so much confidence in your work that they’ll trust you more.
4. Know What Others Are Saying
Here’s where you have to do your homework. You need to be aware of what is being said about your business. Check online sites such as Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google to see what the reviews say about your business. If you have less than stellar reviews, you need to do something about it. Use these reviews as an opportunity to improve your business. If you are lacking in an area, make this a focus and work to make it better. You can improve your reputation online by making sure you provide service that customers expect and appreciate. Encourage your customers to review you online as this will boost your reputation through customers that research your business on the internet.
5. Follow Up Every Time
At the end of a job are you following up? You need to make sure that every customer is satisfied with the services you have provided and following up after the job is complete can head off any problems. Don’t let your customer contact you when something is wrong, follow up with them shortly after the job is completed and see if they are happy with the work or need any modifications. You reaching out to them can ensure they are a satisfied customer and will increase your reputation because you took the initiative.
Staying in control of your business’ reputation can help you to maintain a positive image with your customers. They will be more likely to recommend you to others if they feel like they were satisfied with the results and service they received. Having a positive reputation can help your business prosper and get you those word-of-mouth sales you need to grow your business year-to-year.