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Advance Your Brand Reputation to Assure Customer Loyalty
Your customers want to do business with brands that have positive reputations. Advancing your own brand credibility and reputation is critical not only in acquiring new customers but also in solidifying your relationship with current customers, assuring that they remain loyal and continue to be your customers well into the future.
Of course, nothing can substitute for outstanding customer service and advice. As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, your company doesn’t just provide printing services, but rather joins in partnership with customers in offering expertise in printing technologies, industry knowledge, marketing insights, mailing, fulfillment, and many other areas.
But reinforcing your brand throughout the industry and beyond is critical. It’s called brand management, and you should have a plan in place to do just that.
Managing your reputation
One key metric you’ll want to keep track of is your Net Promoter Score (NPS), which gauges the proportion your company has of enthusiastic customers versus unhappy customers. If you subtract the number of unhappy customers from the number of your loyal promoters, you’ll get your score. You can accomplish this with surveys as well as social media measurement.
Your NPS isn’t a mere vanity metric. Loyal customers’ word of mouth is invaluable. Moreover, these loyal customers tend to try out more of your services, even if they’re slightly more expensive than your competitors.
On social media, meanwhile, customers tend to be much more frank than when responding to surveys. Even your most loyal customers look at social ratings. Always, and I mean always, respond quickly to negative social comments with helpful, understanding ways to address customer concerns. Never be negative, and always be helpful. It’s remarkable how a great response to a negative social comment can turn an NPS detractor into a promoter.
Internal education is key here, because of the willingness of younger buyers to jump to a competitor if they’re dissatisfied with your work, according to Genesys. Customer service is more important than ever, based on a study done by Microsoft, so make sure everyone on your team is onboard with this key need. You’ll want to train your employees on ways to maintain your brand’s reputation, and think long-term on how to elevate your brand equity.
You’ll also want to encourage your promoters and others to blog on your behalf, including social bloggers who follow the digital inkjet printing industry. If you can identify these folks and establish strong relationships with them—maybe through offering guest appearances on their podcasts or YouTube channel, or suggesting guests that can augment their own presentations—they’ll be much more likely to post positive comments on your behalf.
Final thoughts on brand reputation
• Continue powerful content efforts. Show your thought leadership via white papers, blogs, ebooks and more to demonstrate your expertise in printing services, marketing, mailing, and other printing needs.
• Assure that your presence on search engines is robust, and your company is easy to find on Google, YouTube and other platforms. That alone provides enormous brand equity in the mind of the public.
• Make sure your social media presence is healthy. Respond quickly to comments, and provide positive, enthusiastic help to unhappy customers. Share positive comments widely.
• Add positive reviews to your website. No need to rely solely on social media; spread the word yourself!
• Consider adding a social widget to your site. Even if some less-than-positive comments flow in from time to time, your quick positive responses of help will be visible to all.
Christopher Hosford is editor at large for Target Marketing. Former editor-in-chief of Nielsen’s Sales & Marketing Management magazine, he covers all aspects of sales, marketing, and cutting-edge marketing technologies.