Building and maintaining a trusted image for your small business

A recent Yell survey found that consumers are increasingly more likely to trust local businesses over corporate enterprises, so we look at some small steps and features you can take advantage of to enhance the professionalism of your business.

Building a trusted business image can take time and consideration, but once you get it right you have the basis of building a successful business.

Companies with solid, trusted relationships between themselves and their customers are more likely to benefit from positive word of mouth than those companies who fall short in this respect. Indeed, it’s said up to 83% of customers will recommend a company they trust to others.

While there is no scientific formula for guaranteeing trust, providing a good service and being consistent and transparent will help you build good customer relationships, and in turn, give you a good starting point for building a trusted image.

So, in addition to firstly being good at what you do and providing a good service, what little things can you do to supplement your efforts? We have chosen some simple, effective tools you can utilise by taking advantage of the greater access to modern technologies available to small businesses today.

A local number for your local business

A dedicated landline number in the area code where your business is located gives your company a permanent and established feel, whilst also negating the inconvenience of using a personal home landline or mobile number as your primary point of contact.

This is beneficial in a number of ways. For starters, having your own personal home or mobile number open to anyone on the internet is not ideal. Additionally, having a dedicated landline number makes your business look bigger, which positively shapes customer perceptions of your organisation.

A virtual number also means you needn’t sacrifice the flexibility you may be used to using a mobile. Virtual numbers are not geographically tied, meaning it can go with you or calls can be forwarded to you on your mobile (or another destination) wherever you are.

Set the tone with personalised greetings messages

Having the ability to play introductory greetings messages to callers when they dial your number gives you the opportunity to immediately set the tone and present your business exactly the way you want.

The message will play to customers when the call is connected, where you can reassure customers they have called the correct number and impress them that they’re dealing with a reputable company that takes care of its image.

It’s also a useful feature to take advantage of when your business is closed or when you are on holiday, as you can immediately inform customers of this and when you will reopen or return from holiday and ensure they’re not left in doubt and continuously attempting to reach you.

Take care of customer handling out of ordinary hours

As highlighted above, how you handle calls outside of your normal operating hours can help you present a professional image and provide good, communicative customer service.

With the ability to set up pre-configured call routing plans that will kick into place automatically outside of the hours you specify, it allows you to divert any incoming call outside of your chosen hours to an external destination of your choice – such as your mobile, for example.

Of course, you don’t have to set up routing like this if you don’t want to be available around the clock. You could simply decide to play a message to callers instead, maintaining good customer service whilst making your business look professional.

Route callers to the correct destination at the first attempt, every time

Interactive voice menus – “For Customer Services, Press 1” – are typically associated with large enterprises, so utilising such a feature as a small business immediately makes you appear bigger than you may actually be.

However, it’s also a useful tool when used correctly to provide good customer service, as it allows customers to speak to the person most qualified to deal with their enquiry quickly and efficiently.

When used in collaboration with a receptionist service you could take advantage of this so that only new business enquiries are routed directly to you, while all other calls are handled by your receptionist team.

Want more information?

Contact our support team if you require more details on how you can benefit from any of the features highlighted in this post.

Tel: 03333 44 15 66