The internet has made it easier than ever before for customers to voice their opinions. Through forums, social media and dedicated review sites, consumers today have plenty of places to tell the world what they think about the businesses they buy from.

More consumers than ever before are also making purchasing decisions based upon other customer reviews. Therefore, if you want to ensure your start-up becomes successful, you’re going to need to focus on developing a positive online reputation.

Reputation management is often mistakenly assumed to be something only large, established brands need to worry about. However, if you truly want to make it in this harsh, digital world, it’s important to protect your reputation right from the start. Here, you’ll discover some of the best reputation management advice your start up business should follow.

Be aware that your personal reputation will affect your business

As you’re only just starting out in business, your clients and customers will get to know you on a more personal level than they would with a larger brand which hires hundreds, if not thousands, of employees. This means, how you interact with people will have a direct impact on your business.

If you have both a personal and a business social media profile, make sure your personal one is set to private. When communicating and interacting with clients, customers and potential investors, be aware of how you conduct yourself. Always be polite, professional and friendly and think about the image you want to put across for your business.

Ensure your customer service is exceptional

No business can please its customers 100% of the time. However, if something does go wrong and customers do complain, the way that you handle it will make the difference between losing or retaining those customers.

Did you know that on average, a customer who has had a negative experience shopping through a business is likely to tell around 8-16 people? However, a staggering 95% of customers who have experienced a problem, will give the business another chance if their issue was resolved. Furthermore, they’ll even go on to tell 4-5 people about their good experience after dealing with your customer service team.

Now, obviously as a start-up, your customer service team is going to be pretty small. However, this can actually prove to be a major advantage as you can provide a more personal service and take the time to really connect with the customer.

Finally, it’s important to ensure that you respond to any complaints, particularly over social media, quickly. You should always respond in a professional manner, without getting defensive about your brand.

Pay attention to your delivery service

Many businesses today underestimate the power of a good, reliable delivery service. There have been numerous studies carried out which have revealed a poor delivery service can lose a business a lot of customers.

It’s important these days to not just offer a speedy delivery service, but also to ensure parcels are shipped and that they arrive on time. Therefore, the courier service you choose for your start up should be renowned for being professional, friendly, reliable and affordable.

If you’re sending important documents out, you’ll also need to ensure they are sent securely. If important documents ended up in the wrong hands, it could have serious consequences for your business and its reputation. Therefore, it’s advised you use a trusted, secure delivery service such as Inxpress Limited.

Overall, reputation management is much easier to do when you’re just starting out in business. Provided you follow the tips above and work towards developing a positive online reputation, it can help you to achieve a high level of success and stand out from your competitors.

Luke Hatkinson-Kent