Image by: niekverlaan
By Dexter Lunde
When you’re the head of a business, your integrity as a person and as a company suddenly seem more important. People look at you as a person that they need to trust. So how do you build a reputation of trust and integrity in a sea of customers and other businesses?
#1) Focus on Good Customer Service
With the rise of internet marketing, e-commerce, and finding marketing ideas that will catch the eye and attract new customers, a lot of companies have placed good customer service further down on their to-do list.
Unfortunately for them, bad customer service will follow them around longer than giving someone good service. Sounds backwards? Statistics show that customers are 2 times more likely to talk about their bad customer service experiences rather than their good ones.
Customers don’t talk about good customer service? It makes sense, if you think about it. Companies should be offering their customers good service – it’s their job. Why should customers give you praise for just doing your job? They should only be praising you if you go above and beyond their expectations not just meeting them.
This is one of those instances where no news is sometimes good news. Especially when you consider the fact that 89% of consumers stopped doing business with a company after they received poor customer service.
So how do you build a reputation for having good customer service? You make sure that your employees are doing their jobs, constantly check on their progress with their customer service skills, walk the floor to make sure that things are getting handled properly, and encourage your team to better their knowledge about your products.
#2) Keep Your Promises
Part of the “keep your promises” portion of building a reputation and integrity is to keep the promises you make and also making promises that you can keep. Don’t promise that you’ll have “The best burger this side of the Mississippi”. Instead, promise “sloppy joes so messy, you’ll need the whole roll of paper towels”. Make promises that you can keep and make sure to follow through.
Don’t forget that you can always change them up if need be. If you know that you can only make sloppy joes during the summer season, then change it up for the fall, “Soup so spicy, you won’t need a fireplace.”
As for other promises, you’ll be making them to everyone (keep this in mind). You’ll be making promises to your investors and banks. You’ll be making promises to your business partners and employees. These promises are just as important (if not more) than the ones that you make to your customers.
#3) Be Organized and Clean
This will help you keep promises (like scheduled meetings and business lunches). It also shows your team members that you know what you’re doing. Cleanliness (hygiene and also your office and schedule) depicts professionalism and authority. It is a sign of good leadership.
Always get to work on time and if you can’t call in ahead of time to let them know of your delay. Arrive looking professional and don’t skip any showers. Keep your office tidy and well organized. File away papers when you’re done with them. Keep good records. Being organized is an essential part of being a good businessman.
#4) Treat Everyone with Respect
I know of a lot of employers who use fear tactics to get their employees to do what they want, when they want. However, just like parenting (and dictatorships), fear tactics won’t work in the long run. Your employees will quit for better jobs as soon as they can (and they’ll start looking as soon as they feel disrespected).
Always treat your team members with respect. And do just that – treat your employees, partners, etc. like team members, not like employees. Sure they work for you but without them, your “team” would fall apart. Don’t disrespect them. They’ll show you their appreciation by respecting you and meeting (and surpassing) your expectations for them.
#5) Work Hard
This may seem obvious but when it appears as though your employees work harder than you do, something is wrong. If they are always waiting for you, for the most part they won’t be able to move on with their duties.
Also, if they feel as though you don’t work hard enough, they will feel disrespected. After all, it is one thing to delegate responsibilities appropriately. It’s another thing completely to delegate all of the responsibilities so that you don’t have any more.
Now it’s your turn. What ways have your previous bosses won you over? How do you show your integrity as a boss, CEO, or businessman?