When you run a small business, credibility is key to your success. If customers do not think that you are credible, they are not going to trust that you can deliver on your promises, and as such, they will be very wary about handing over any money to you.
That’s why you must do everything you can to build and maintain a credible business reputation. Unfortunately, this can be more difficult than it sounds, and many small businesses make basic mistakes that harm their credibility. Below, we will take a look at some of the most common things that can damage company credibility so that you can hopefully avoid them, earn the trust of your customers and run a successful small business now and in the future.
Making promises you can’t keep
One of the most common mistakes made by small businesses, which can damage their credibility, is making promises they cannot keep; most companies do not do this on purpose; they want to impress their customers and make them happy, so they offer next day delivery despite not checking id it will be possible to make it happen, or they promise that their product is indestructible when, in fact, there is a slight chance that it could be damaged after all. When they cannot deliver the promise, it looks like they were lying all along.
So, do your best to be realistic about what your business can achieve and never promise the customer if there is even a tiny chance it might not happen. This will help you maintain an honest and trustworthy reputation which will help you far more than trying to people-please with unsustainable promises.
This might seem like such a minor issue that it could not possibly damage the credibility of your business, but it really can. Consumers are looking for businesses they can trust. Many of them are naturally wary of buying anything online if it is not from a big nake store with an excellent reputation. So, if they see things like basic spelling errors on your website, which could make it look like your business is not a professional operation, they may not feel confident enough to make a purchase. Luckily, it’s straightforward to find and correct spelling mistakes on your website using high-quality SEO monitoring. So, put some monitoring in place, check it regularly, and fix any spelling errors as soon as you can if you want to improve your credibility as a company online.
Not having a professional business address
If you are running a business from home, using your home address as your business address can make the company seem less credible. But, of course, you know that your company is legit. Still, potential customers only have the information you provide to help them work out if your business is genuine or yet another scam, and having a residential address and phone number, for that matter, as a point of contact, will often not fill them with confidence.
Thankfully, you can buy a virtual business address and phone number for a few dollars per month, which will look a lot more credible on your website, business cards, and what have you than using your home address ever could.
If you are selling a product or service, you need to ensure that your staff knows that product or service inside out. If customers need to get in touch with your company to ask more about the goods and services you sell or if they need to complain about a product or service they have purchased, your company will not come across as being at all credible if the people they talk to don’t know what they’re talking about.
As a small business, hiring employees and providing them with a minimum of training can be tempting because it costs money to employ better-trained staff and provide on-the-job training, but this is the wrong way to go. The poorer your employees understand your products and services, the less credible your company will be, and the fewer people will buy. If, however, your staff knows their stuff, you will see more sales, more positive reviews, and a greater level of credibility, which will make you more money in the long term.
This one is pretty obvious, but it is worth mentioning bad reviews because they are the one thing that will probably harm your credibility more than anything else. After all, no one will want to buy anything from a company that numerous people have declared negative feelings towards.
How can you avoid bad reviews? Start by not promising more than you can deliver, as mentioned above. Then, make a real effort to ensure that everything from delivery times to the quality of the product is as good as possible; if someone is not satisfied, try to do everything you can to resolve their problem as soon as possible.
If you think a negative review is unfair, it’s okay to put your side across, but do so in an authentic, non-confrontational way, or you could end up making your company look even worse than it already does.
Few businesses will get through life without at least some bad reviews, but if you have many more good reviews than negative ones, that will lend you a lot more credibility with the average customer.
Suppose you can avoid making these credibility-damaging mistakes. In that case, you can build a strong business reputation and keep those customers coming, so be diligent, do your best, and avoid these big mistakes as best you can. Of course, you may not always succeed on every point, and that’s OK as long as you pick yourself up and resolve to do better next time.