In our personal lives, we are often advised not to pay attention to what others think about us.Be confident in yourself, and don’t get caught in a loop of constantly looking for others’ approval. This couldn’t be farther from the truth when running a business, be it a hotel, restaurant, laundromat or any other business.
Maintaining a positive image in the minds of your consumer is paramount. Your business’s reputation means everything to its success. Part of maintaining a positive reputation is delivering a consistently excellent consumer experience from A to Z.
Test the Consumer Experience
Without the deep pockets of a large corporation, consistently delivering on a positive consumer experience is particularly strategic for a small business owner since you may not have the budget to invest in a large-scale marketing campaign to carefully craft and maintain your image. Instead, word of mouth and consumer reviews will be your best growth engine, making consumer experience all the more important. And for this, a clean, pleasant, and professional environment will make the cut every time.
It may help to go through the consumer experience yourself to ensure that every last detail is attended to. The devil is in the details, after all. Walk through your door as if you’re a customer; talk to the staff, and go through all the steps a customer would. Is it a pleasant experience? Is everything clean? Is the staff friendly?
Act Quickly and Stay Positive
Part of maintaining a stellar reputation is knowing how to respond when the consumer experience isn’t up to standard, that is, when a mistake is made. (Let’s say, some hair got into a customer’s food, for instance.) Be sure to apologize promptly and compensate the customer for the mistake – for example, by giving them their meal on the house, or providing them a voucher they can use on their next visit. Added bonus: the voucher technique gives you a chance to get the customer to return despite the mistake, to correct their previously subpar experience.
What do you do when your business atmosphere is disrupted by something that seems to be outside your control? Say, for instance, someone brings durian into your establishment. The fruit’s pungent smell can be off-putting for many people, and stays around for days. Act quickly to ensure that the atmosphere you have worked hard to build in your establishment isn’t co-opted by the smell. You’ll want to do this without insulting your guest. Tell him or her with the utmost politeness that durians are not allowed in your establishment. Use an odor eliminator like Ambi Pur Air Effects to remove odors and stink. If need be, you may want to use Ambi Pur Fabric Freshener for any hotel linens the durian smell has penetrated. Ambi Pur is a great choice for something like this because it doesn’t just cover up odors like other air fresheners, but actually neutralizes the odors at their core, so all your customers smell is clean.
Keep It Clean
Maintaining a sparkling clean and fresh smelling place of business goes a long way in communicating professionalism, care, and hygiene to your customers. Be sure menus are wiped down, surfaces are clean and dust- and fingerprint-free, and spills are promptly wiped up. Ensuring that all employees are on point for addressing customers with a pleasant, friendly, and professional demeanor is also quite important. The saying “the customer is always right” should be the guiding philosophy here.
Be Your Best Self
Learning the most you can about reputation management and other critical elements of successful business practices will help you identify new growth opportunities for your business. Once you’ve implemented the tips in this article, a wealth of advice can be found online to take your business game to the next level. Check out more advanced methods for putting forth your best self for a stellar reputation that will keep happy customers returning time and again. The more you know, the more your business will grow.