One of the most difficult parts of starting a local business is building up your brand in the local consciousness. Customers are going to form an opinion of your business very quickly, and you want to make sure it’s the best possible impression. Here are a couple of factors you should be aware of that can affect how you’re seen.

Online Reviews

It’s basically impossible to run a modern business without having some kind of online presence. And that’s not a bad thing – the internet can be a fantastic resource for businesses. It provides an easy-access method for advertising, branding, and so on. It provides a forum for people to give opinions about the experiences they’ve had with your company. Unfortunately, that can be for better or for worse. Bad online reviews (especially in a large percentage relative to the rest) can cast a real shadow on customers’ perceptions of you. This is particularly true for customers who are not yet familiar with you, who may be using the internet to search for businesses. So it is important to try and motivate your current customers to post positive reviews.

Customer Service

The number one factor that will affect your reviews will probably be your customer service. While it is true that your product or service matters as well, most people are motivated to write reviews because of particularly good or particularly bad customer service. Try and make sure that you have the basics covered with your employees. The attitude of your customer service representatives can reveal the quality of customer service. Try to find small but profound ways in which you can put your customer service above and beyond the industry standard. People remember and appreciate when they feel they have been served particularly well. They will want to come back and will perceive your brand as being special, and worthy of their business.

Branding

The aesthetic, logo, and sensory identity of your brand will go a long way towards creating a local presence. Customers should know what you’re about at a glance. They should know how your business makes them feel, and what they can expect when they decide to utilize your services. Your aesthetic should be simple, clear, and appealing. Use your commercial property and the internet to help promote your brand.

Customer perception is everything. No matter how good you are, if you’re perceived as being rude, bad, gross, or any other number of negative associations, your business will be slated to fail. On the flip side, a perception of being polite and helpful will do wonders for your business. Work hard to create the perception you want them to have.

Check out this article on how to increase effectiveness among your employees!