One of the most important aspects of any business is its public image. While large corporations have entire departments dedicated to PR, small businesses have to make do with the resources they have on hand. One of the most valuable and cost effective resources is the employees—by improving employee relations with customers, you can improve your company’s public image.
Focus on Points of Customer Contact
Figure out each and every place where employees may come into contact with customers and focus on improving that. Customer service, technical support, checkout lines, and even dealings within the store itself; all of these areas are ripe for improvement.
Make Employees Part of the Story
Small businesses can set themselves apart from their competition by telling their own story. If a small business owner can make the employees part of that story, it becomes easier to improve the public image. Have employees memorize the company’s mission statement and goals. If employees exemplify all that the business stands for during their day-to-day work, customers will benefit from the results.
Improve Your Website
No one wants to be forced to use a clunky, hard-to-navigate website. By focusing your efforts on the website and ensuring it is not only compatible with all browsers, but operates under a clear and cohesive color scheme, people will be more likely to use the site. Improving a website will reduce its bounce rate and improve customer retention. Make sure the website offers only relevant information about your company—too much off-topic content will put visitors off and can cause you to lose potential customers.
Put a Spin on a Traditional Marketing Technique
Press releases and media contacts aren’t just for large corporations. According to Kent State University’s Public Relations Master’s programs, small business owners can greatly improve their company’s public image by being active in the local community. Donate your time to local schools and charities and take part in the culture and community of the area; people will come to recognize the business and be far more likely to use its services.
Keep Your Location Clean
Much of public image is about perception. If the brick and mortar facilities are kept clean and well-maintained, the perception of the company will improve. Take the time to clean and maintain any shrubbery around the business, as well as the pathways in and out.
Improving the image of a small business doesn’t have to be difficulty. Just taking the time to employ these few steps can have far-reaching effects.