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What is the Key to Building a Strong Reputation & Brand? by Skip Cohen

, MarketingNikki HarrisonComment

It’s a time in business history when, as consumers, we’re surrounded by companies who make us feel like they don’t care.  Every consumer, when something isn’t exactly right, instantly starts to feel defensive. Fortunately, there’s very little that will build your reputation and brand faster than focusing on customer satisfaction. At all levels of your business, it’s is one of your most powerful marketing tools.

Any moron can get their first customer! The key is to get that first customer to come back, tell their friends and in turn help you get your 2nd, 3rd and 4th customers and more.

Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. — Damon Richards
We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts.
It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience
a little bit better.
 — Jeff Bezos
Loyal customers, they don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you,
they insist that their friends do business with you.
 — Chip Bell

Accessibility: It starts with making it easy for customers to find you. Your phone number needs to be on your website along with your email address. Many of you don't have formal studios, so it's understandable when you don't want to list your home address, but don't shortchange customers on other ways to contact you.

Response Time: The faster, the better. Whether a phone call, email or somebody who's approached you directly, get back to them as quickly as possible. A delay in responding not only gives a potential client the idea you're not interested in their business, but it gives your competitors a chance to step in.

Resolve Problems: Everybody likes a problem solver. Empathize with every customer who's got a "challenge" and live by a reputation of "the buck stops here!" Work to resolve problems as quickly as possible.

            "When there's a hill to climb, waiting won't make it any smaller!"  — Unknown author.

Be an Expert: Your clients hired you to capture and create images that meet a standard they admire. When there's a problem, and they're not as satisfied as you, and they had hoped, be the expert in figuring out what was wrong.

Listen, Listen, Listen: All the answers are out there on everything you want to do as long as you listen. Learn to listen to your clients. Know the demographics of your audience. Pay attention to what's going on in your market as well as with your competitors.

Be Active in Social Media: I'm convinced that just having a website isn't enough today. You need to maintain a consistent presence on a blog, as well as on the various social media venues where your customers are looking. And, remember, your website is about what you sell, but your blog is about what’s in your heart. You need to have a presence with both.

Exceed Client Expectations: Whether it's problem solving or just creating an experience for each client, work to go overboard. Give them more than they asked for. This is about relationship building, not just delivering photographs.

Make Yourself Habit-Forming: From your website to your blog to working directly with you, make every experience something special. As a photographer you start out with an incredible advantage, you have your clients' trust. They believe in you and your abilities to meet their needs. All you have to do is build on that and always go one step beyond what's expected.

by Skip Cohen

by Skip Cohen

Service, in short, is not what you do, but who you are. 
It is a way of living that you need to bring to everything you do, 
if you are to bring it to your customer interactions. 

Betsy Sanders

S. B. Cohen

Marketing Essentials International