Globally, when you walk towards a person with open hands, it signifies peace, openness, and warmth. Open hands have universal appeal. Can we glean any business lessons from outstretched hands? This week, we share five business reputation secrets- all hidden in your open hands- which shape customer perception and boost your bottom line. Let’s start by talking about three features of open hands.
Features of Open Hands
1. Open hands are usually clean hands: No one would hold out a dirty hand. When a person’s hands are dirty, they typically hide their hands behind their backs or in their pockets.
2. Open hands are ready to give: When you hold your hands open you show that you are willing to be generous with your time or resources. Your generosity will make people around you happy.
3. Open hands are ready to receive: A person who makes a fist will not be getting anything into them. To receive, your hands must be open.
We will now be talking about the business reputation secrets connected to these features of an open hand. As a business owner, your reputation determines whether people will do business with you or not. In fact, some researchers say, 63% of a company’s market value comes from its reputation. So, you will be losing customers and prospects if your reputation is not properly managed.
Additionally, your company’s reputation affects the kind of talents that you attract. 69% of job seekers said they would reject a job offer from a company with a bad reputation. And so, with social media providing more access to the thoughts and feelings of business owners, it becomes even more imperative for business executives to manage their reputations wisely.
Now, let us talk about the five reputation secrets hidden in open hands.
Business Reputation Secrets Hidden in Open Hands.
1. Be open and honest about your business journey: Your personal Social Media Accounts present a great opportunity for you to document your business journey. The way you share your journey can attract people to your business and earn you more customers. Be careful about the type of topics you contribute to, as social media can be quite volatile. In fact, 24% of Nigerian internet users say that comments on social media help them discover brands they want to do business with.
As Chief Reputation Strategist of Weber Shandwick, Leslie Gaines Ross puts it, “Although social media has placed nearly every CEO and company in the spotlight for good and bad, it has also given CEOs a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tell their company stories in unimaginable and untold ways.”
2. Don’t Get Your Hands Dirty: As noted earlier, open hands are clean hands. So, avoid every form of misrepresentation. The anonymity of social media often makes it possible for people to make false claims about products and services. Especially in the world of start-ups, where your story may determine whether VCs will look your way or not, you may be tempted to tell a few fibs to capture attention. Don’t! It is even worse when you lie about what your product does. Do not be a ‘snake oil salesman’. Small lies often lead to bigger lies, and you will be outed. When that happens, the loss of reputation may sink you and your business forever.
3. Come Clean: Remember that open hands are always clean. As a business leader, no one expects you to be perfect. So, when you have shown an error of judgement, you should come clean. Do not shy away from taking responsibility for your actions. And be ready to remedy the situation. You may be afraid that if you offer an apology, it may bruise your ego. But better a bruised ego than have a reputation of poor service. Also, if you are afraid that admitting to wrong will tarnish your reputation, reread point number 2 above. Your reputation will be the worse off when you are eventually exposed.
4. Offer Value: A study by global reputation managers Weber Shandwick lists great customer service as one of the top three of the 23 reputation metrics. A related statistic is that 96% of consumers say customer service is an important factor in their loyalty to a brand. Offering valuable customer service is a sure way to manage your reputation. Many business owners do not realise that offering an unsatisfied customer their money back or offering an apology for lack of moral judgement can do more for your online reputation than several product ads.
5. Be Generous. The Weber Shandwick study showed that your organisation’s ability to give back to the community would affect how your customers and prospects view you and whether they want to do business with you by as much as 40%. If you want this benefit, you must create a give-back policy as part of your reputation management strategy. Generosity can also entail sharing complimentary tips and tricks to help your customers use your company’s products and services through your blog.
Indeed, you can harness the business reputation secrets of an open palm in managing the reputation of your company by adopting the principles of openness, transparency, and honesty in running your business. As they say, ‘good service is the best PR’. More specifically, adopt these five habits
1. Speak openly and honestly about your business journey.
2. Do not make false claims about your products or services.
3. Be quick to take responsibility for bad service.
4. Offer valuable customer service.
5. Create a give-back policy.
Remember, we are here to manage your reputation through Slvr Wlf’s Social Media Management Services, which guarantees you an online presence that will be the envy of your competition. Why not book a consultation with us today?