A Guide to Managing Customer Perceptions

If you don’t have customers, you don’t have a business. Whether you run a small business or a large company, managing customer perceptions is vital. Doing so requires putting a lot of care and attention into all of the different ways in which your company interacts with its customers, including your online presence, your customer support, and the product or service that you sell.

The following are a few suggestions for improving the way that your customers perceive your business.

Online presence

A comprehensive online presence usually includes, at a minimum, a website, SEO, reviews, and appropriate social media channels. If your customers and your potential customers can’t find any trace of your business online, that’s a problem. A lack of online presence often creates distrust, or, at the very least, makes it difficult for people to contact you and purchase your product.

Keep it organized

Having a messy online presence can be just as bad as not having one at all. If your website is outdated or your contact info is inaccurate or hard to find, your customers might lose trust in your services. Make sure that your website is up to date, organized, and mobile-ready. Keep your contact information on every page of your site. List your address, phone number, and other relevant details on your Google Business page so that it appears in the sidebar whenever someone does a Google search of your business. If you have social media accounts, be sure to update them regularly to let people know you are still active and to inform them about important news.

Manage reviews

Whether you like it or not, people are going to leave reviews of your business online. Through Yelp, Google Reviews, and other tools, anyone can leave positive or negative feedback for everyone to see. Often, business owners aren’t aware that they are being reviewed online or how those reviews are affecting their sales. That’s why it’s important to regularly search for your company online.

If you are receiving negative reviews online, you should take the time to respond in the same forum as a comment to the original review letting the reviewer know that you are aware of the complaint and would like to make it right with them. This lets people know that you are trustworthy and care about your customers.

Customer support

Customer support is one of the hardest jobs to do right, regardless of which industry you’re in. Customers can call in angry and impatient or with a completely unfounded complaint. They can come into your store with outrageous demands and put your employees on the spot. This is one of the most critical customer touch points because it is often where people either become lifelong customers or severe ties with your company altogether. If you can provide a fantastic customer service experience, then your customers will always feel like they will be taken care of and will continue to give you their business and refer you to their friends. If you drop the ball, however, customers may come away disenchanted and warn others to avoid doing business with you. As a general rule, it's important to take ownership of the problem and provide customers with meaningful solutions. Handling issues with care will help ensure that you don't break relationships with clients and customers. 

Your product

This piece of advice should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: make sure your products and services are of the highest quality, or, at the very least, delivered as advertised. This is especially important for the nutraceutical industry. People will be ingesting your product, so it's essential that you source high-quality materials during the manufacturing process. Listen to customer feedback and use it to improve your product or service to the point that it begins to speak for itself. This not only makes the jobs of your salesman easier, but it creates a positive perception of your company. If you provide a product or service of lesser quality, but better value, make sure that your customers know exactly what they are getting. Many people are happy getting a cheaper, less quality product that still gets the job done, but you don’t want to deceive anyone who’s looking for a higher quality product. This will lead to disappointment, bad reviews, and angry customer service calls.


Podium | How to Respond to a Negative Review

EPMA | Don't Break the Client Relationship

Forbes | How to Create a Big Online Presence for your Small Business

Davinci | Top 10 Tools for Small Businesses

MBi | Contract Manufacturing for Nutraceuticals