Brand reputation is largely created through the combined experiences and associations that customers have with your business. Most customers, regardless of whether having had a positive or negative experience, will take the time to tell you about it. If their overall experience is great, they will want to take pleasure in letting you know about it; if their experiences left them frustrated, they will want to make you cringe when you read their comments.
The State of Small Businesses Report gave SMB owners an A- rating in customer service, noting their impeccable service and ability to retain customers by treating them with care. The importance of customer service was also seen as a reason for why female small business owners tend to be more successful than men. Simply put, they’re better at building relationships with other women business owners, they support one another more and they’re focused on their customers and meeting their needs. All of this allows them to build stronger relationships both online and off.
A reputation for good customer service is something small and medium businesses should not jeopardize. Online surveys are an affordable market research tool that SMB’s can utilize to let customers tell you what your business is and isn’t.
Zoomerang makes it easy to design, deploy and analyze your business surveys in order to monitor and build your brand. Once you have completed your research report consider sharing your survey results with visitors to your website to highlight compelling statistics, blog about the results to share insights and engage customers, as well as distribute a Press Release to help develop a reputation as a thought leader in your industry.
There is one last tidbit which stood out that I wanted to share: The SMB Report found that only 12% of SMB’s are engaging in social media. Let me rephrase that: only 12% of small businesses are taking advantage of a targeted, absolutely free way to market their business online. You can use that surprising statistic to your advantage by posting a short Facebook or MySpace survey your profile every few days to keep visitors coming back or post a fun, one question Facebook poll daily and watch your fans and friends grow. You can even post the survey links on other Social Network sites so that all of your Twitter followers and everyone in your LinkedIn network will have the opportunity to give their feedback.