Check out five key authentic business ideas to improve your company standing and help you stay on step ahead of the competition.
As our world shifts more and more to the virtual realm, it can be easy to go through the day with very little meaningful human interaction. While this makes our lives more convenient in some ways, a lot of us still long for that human touch. We want to feel like our interactions matter and those that we do business with are both honest and transparent. We are looking for authenticity.
With a constant influx of messaging and a wide variety of options to choose from, authenticity can really help a business stand out and make a difference in the mind of today’s savvy customer. From the initial marketing messaging to every touchstone along the way of the customer’s journey it’s important to be authentic and trustworthy.
Here are five key authentic business ideas:
Create Relationships Meant to Last
Building relationships with customers that are meant to last goes a long way in establishing your authenticity. Take the time to care about the clients or customers who consistently show up to your business. Learn about their needs, desires and challenges so they know that you see them and understand them. Show your customers that you value them deeply and that you want to provide only the best service to them. Create an environment and rapport where they always feel comfortable bringing up any issues they may have. Only through honesty and openness can you develop a real connection.
Your Virtual Assistant can create a client/customer database incorporating notes from meetings, phone conversations and social media comments. More than just a database inputter, your VA will develop an understanding of the nuances in communicating with one client versus another. Your VA can help you engage with your customers, making sure issues are resolved and questions are answered, all in the authentic voice of your company.
Consistency should be built on a foundation of your company’s values and beliefs. It serves as a road map for all aspects of your business, from employee policies to customer interactions and quality products and services. Consistency establishes expectations and helps develop trust.
It all starts on the inside. Be real with your team. Be clear about your identity as a company; its values and beliefs. This will help your team easily communicate consistently and without hesitation to your customers. The words and actions of your company should be in alignment so that the company’s fundamental character shines through no matter what setting you are in or what role an employee plays. Have a consistent voice across marketing platforms as well as in customer interactions. When it comes to troubleshooting problems or dealing with upset customers, establish a procedure your entire staff is aware of so that each situation is handled with the same care and in the same way.
Your Virtual Assistant can help you create, or improve the standards, procedures and guidelines you set for your employees. She can take a closer look at how tasks are being done in your organization, who needs to do particular tasks, and the best ways to accomplish these tasks. Your VA can also help with formatting and distributing these employee guidelines.
Do What You Say You Will Do
Deliver on your promises consistently. Once you make a promise to a customer, it’s essential that you follow through on it. When a company delivers on their promises, they demonstrate that they are reliable and trustworthy. This can be something as simple as returning a call when you say you will or as complex as following through with a money back guarantee. Only make promises you can deliver on. If you do encounter an unexpected delay for a due date or cannot honor an offer, communicate the issue clearly and honestly to your customer. When you are upfront about problems that arise, your customers are more likely to be understanding.
Your Virtual Assistant can keep track of any commitments you make, schedule reminders, follow up calls and visits, research customer purchase history to follow up with customer issues, and alert you to anything being said on social media so that you can address it.
Own Your Mistakes
While it can hurt to receive criticism, embrace the opportunity to learn how you can make improvements to your product or service. Be transparent when you know about any problems on your end. Learn to truly see your customers as partners in helping you move forward and become better. Rectify any errors or mistakes as quickly as possible and implement and communicate plans to avoid them happening again in the future. Honesty about mistakes helps people both understand and know that there is a real caring person behind the brand.
Your Virtual Assistant can be your right hand person as you navigate the best, most professional response to owning your mistake. Your VA can also help you find the perfect apology gift and send it to your client.
Social media offers a perfect avenue to demonstrate the authenticity of your brand. Take the opportunity to humanize your company to your followers. Shoot videos about how your product is made, create visual maps that show where materials come from, and explain the process of manufacturing, design, marketing, and placement. Don’t worry too much about professional production, stay raw and authentic with cell phone videos! Keep the social in social media! Build relationships and community around your product and show your customers you care as much about them as they do about you.
Your Virtual Assistant can schedule social media posts for you so that you never go silent on these important platforms. Your VA can respond to mentions and messages on your social media in a way that complies with your branding, by using a company created guideline, or template with answers to common questions.
While it can take some work upfront to establish authentic business ideas, it will always pay off in the long run with loyal customers and steady business. Your Virtual Assistant can make the entire process much smoother so you don’t have to worry about anything falling through the cracks. Reach out today to get started.
Founder at 100Ninjas.
Bananagram Master. Smoothie Mixologist. Seeker of the cozy. Art lover.