Every action has a positive or negative reaction, which is just as important to register if you are to ensure the continuity of your business. You cannot be done with just sending the message of your brand out there. You have to take into account ‘the way it is being heard or perceived’.
Customer perception is key to running your business smoothly. Why? Because, in the end, it is the consumers who have the power to make or break your brand. If enough traffic makes its way to your website at the right time, then engagement will soar and your profits will double. On the other hand, if users abandon the site after a cursory glance, then you can surely expect the engagement ratio to fall and your losses to rise.
That is why entrepreneurs and small business owners need to assess how the target audience is viewing their products or services, and how they can use this information to increase sales.
Factors that Influence Customer Perception
What goes into maintaining a company’s image? Factors like the social media presence, customer service, selective-market advertising, community engagement, PR or reviews can fuel your brand’s customer perception. The more balanced and driven these factors are, the more chances of audience motivation will arise as regards your brand, which will then translate into greater sales. Let’s examine these factors one by one and see how they can influence the customer perception of your business:
Word of mouth is a powerful weapon, which people often use to fame or defame the brands they’ve interacted with online or offline. This interaction is mainly rooted in the customer support, or the service responsible for treating the customer grievances and queries heads on. If your business’s customer service is not up to the mark, then it can heavily affect your brand perception.
There is a saying in commercial circles that a happy customer will talk to two or three people about their experience with the company, but a dissatisfied customer will vent to ten people at once. So, make sure to provide a quality customer service, set the interaction parameters within a realistic framework and use the feedback to your advantage. You can even automate interactions with AI chatbots, or make your support multi-lingual like Spectrum customer service has done with its Spanish section, to reach out to audiences of more than one ethnicities.
If managed well, social media can prove to be a great marketing tool for attracting and retaining customers. Every business has a story that humanizes and personalizes it, and today’s users are more interested in that rather than plain figures. Different social media platforms empower businesses to tell their story in a better way. If, for instance, your brand is related to fashion, then you can use Instagram to visually enthrall audiences and speak to their aesthetic sense. If it is related to telecommunications, then Facebook with its business page format and handy tools can help you reach out better. Depending on your profile, you can use the most suitable social media platforms to craft a strategy and mold customer perception. Speak to them where they like to engage the most.
If you observe prospective customers, you will see that they are quite hesitant and less inclined to trust freely. The reason for this is that the image of ‘businesses being in it for the profits only’ has been engraved in their minds. It is understandable. However, you can improve the customer perception of your business by:
- Finding your unique voice and competitive edge, so your identity can be singled out
- Advertising to selective markets only, since people usually tune out messages of products that don’t interest them
- Shape your message from “what will benefit us” to “what will YOU get out of it”
- Invest in giving back to the community with discounts for low-income families, donations to the needy, giveaways for teens and raising charity for important causes, etc.
By building community relations, you can positively alter the customer perception of your brand in a way that works out best for you.
As you can see, customer perception is important for ensuring the survival of your business. It is difficult to navigate, too. However, if you know the underlying factors that influence it, such as the ones mentioned in this post, you can easily engage with your audience better and optimize your finances like a pro.