Can Small Businesses Hurt Their Credibility With Customers?

These days, small business owners have to keep so many things in mind in the course of running their companies that it’s not always easy to keep everything straight. One thing that should remain front of mind and is of vital importance, though, is the importance of maintaining a company’s credibility.

Essentially, that means that companies should strive to make sure their word is their bond, and that when they promise something to customers or clients, everything is as transparent and honest as it can possibly be, according to a report from the Arizona Republic. These things, more so than bad customer service or other common complaints that consumers might have, are perhaps the most likely to lead to lost business, and bad word of mouth.

One of the biggest ways in which companies can disappoint consumers is by promising things on which they cannot deliver, the report said. If they say they’re able to make something happen by a specific date, missing that deadline can be a major impediment to that customer or client thinking a company has its act together. Likewise, companies that claim they’ll be able to do things for their customers – even something as vague as “going the extra mile” – and then don’t back those up will often find themselves in the same boat.

Extend these efforts to all aspects of ownership
However, one area where owners can alienate someone other than their customers, and which actually might be just as important, is if their employees hold dim views of the companies, and the entrepreneurs themselves, the report said. For instance, bosses who take credit for subordinates’ hard work are often seen by those workers as self-centered and egotistical, and negative attitudes about a company from the inside can have a major impact. That’s because employees who are unhappy about their jobs might publish negative reviews about them online, or could tell friends and family members about how bad it is to work there. The word can get out pretty quickly on this kind of talk, and hurt a company’s reputation badly.

Owners should also try to continuously improve not only their companies’ standings in their communities, but also their bottom lines overall. They may be able to do this by finding more affordable small business insurance, because reducing costs for liability insurance coverage, for instance, can save thousands of dollars per year.