Perception is everything. Especially when it comes to differentiating your business in any highly competitive field. Hence the question, 'how do you want your business, product or service to be perceived?' This simple insightful question assist when creating a strategic branding plan. As a business owner it's a question to reflect on, as an employee or entrepreneur, it provides insight in developing your personal brand.
So let's talk about perception within customer service. How do you make sure that your company is sending out the right messages to your clients and customers, and creating the image that people today are seeking?
We all understand that perception plays a vital role in a company’s ability to attract new customers and to retain existing customers. To put it simply, customer perception is what your customers and potential customers think of your organization. This perception directly impacts the attraction of new customers and the capacity to maintain good relationships with current customers.
Consumers want good quality, but they also want to know they are getting good value. That value isn’t just judged by the product or service they are purchasing, but by the availability and usability of the customer service that supports it.
It’s just not enough anymore to have brand recognition, consumers want to feel good about a brand and company. They want to do business with civic-minded corporations with positive world views. Knowing first what influences customer perception allows you to secure your organization’s perceived identity.
From a social media perspective, social media platforms present unique opportunities and challenges for communication. Many social channels actually track a company’s responsiveness to customers and rate them. In addition social media creates an open forum for customer complain. The vocal minority can seemingly hijack your good name, but it is possible to take negative comments and demonstrate positive outcomes. Responding quickly and with knowledge and compassion can not only result in a favorable outcome with the situation at hand but increase positive feelings about your company. Be proactive when a negative review posts and work to rectify the issue openly when possible.
"Customer perception is about feeling and fact. From the first touch-point to last, the entire company is involved in this perception and can contribute to it in a positive way." said Jocelyn Loza
Customers not only need to feel good about your brand/company and its service, they need to be treated well and the products and services need to perform as advertised. When problems occur, manage expectations, communicate effectively and work to resolve the issue while ensuring you make the customer feel valued and respected. It will always be easier and more cost effective to create an environment for positive customer perception from the beginning of the customer journey than it is to fix a negative perception.
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