There are lots of small businesses that provide a fantastic service or a top-quality product, but unfortunately many of them are overlooked because customers are put off by some aspect of their business. This can have a big impact on a business’ success and can prevent it from taking off in the way it could. Luckily, as easy as it is do your brand a disservice, it almost as easy to turn it around for the better with some simple changes. To help you identify where you might be giving off the wrong impression to your customers, here are some of the most common ways that a business can come across as being unprofessional.
Weak and/or inconsistent branding
Your branding is not just the colors and logo that you choose, but your company’s ethos, personality, and values rolled into an aesthetic. Rushing your branding or being inconsistent is a big red flag for customers. If you do not understand your brand, how do you expect them to trust in your service or product? A professional branding expert may be able to help, but if in doubt, keep it simple and be consistent across all that you do.
Inconsistent customer service
The quality of your customer service will make or break your reputation and will directly impact on whether customers return to you again in the future. Your response to queries and concerns should be timely, efficient, and polite, and you should offer several communication channels for your customers. If you are struggling to maintain a consistent level of customer service because your IT system is unreliable, contact an IT support company to ensure you are always on top of your game.
Poorly managed social media accounts
Social media has become a fantastic marketing and communication platform for small businesses, enabling them to interact with their customers and promote their business for free. However, it is surprisingly easy to give the wrong impression of your business if you are not managing your social media professionally. Your activity should be consistent in the voice you use and the visual content (e.g., photos, logos, fonts, infographics) that you share, and the way you interact with customers should be well written and professional in tone.
No legal structure
One of the first steps you should have taken when you set up your business was to protect it with a legal structure. Not doing so can cast doubt over your legitimacy, and it could also leave you at risk of legal action. When you register your business, you need to ensure that you are choosing the right structure for your situation, tax liabilities, and legal obligations. This might be as a sole trader, a partnership, a limited liability company, or a corporation. An attorney will be best placed to advise you on how to register and will help you to create contracts and legal policies.
Malfunctioning or unhelpful website
The first point to note about websites is that you should have one. When customers can only find a basic social media page or even less about your business on the internet, they are likely to doubt your trustworthiness. It is also worth buying a bespoke domain to avoid having to use generic email addresses that anyone could set up. When you have a website, it should be easy to navigate, attractive but simple, and fit for purpose. Visitors should be able to find what they are looking for in just a few clicks and complete their purchase/place their enquiry without hassle.