As obvious as it sounds, I think it’s important you’re making the maximum effort to present your firm in a positive light.

With any luck, this should result in existing clients being eager to spend more of their time and money on your company’s products and services, while new customers will have the incentive to find out more about what you have to offer.

Here is a look at a few of the ways that I believe you can improve public perception.

Offer great products and fantastic customer service

Ideally, your product range should help you differentiate your business from the competition. Maybe you have the largest range in your industry? Or exclusive products that customers can only source from your organization? Maybe your low prices make you the ‘cost leader’ in your market? Or you offer some other form of USP like free complementary products to give customers the incentive to order from your business?

Whether or not your product range differentiates your organization from the competition, your customer service should be geared towards attracting (and retaining) as many customers as possible. This means your customer service team should be well-trained and well-incentivised. After sales processes should be clear to customers and staff alike. You could even consider some customer ‘guarantees’ like ‘we promise to match any genuine like-for-like quote’.

Distribute promotional gifts

Another great way to improve the public opinion of your company is to hand out promotional gifts. Let’s face it, we all like to get something for nothing and I think you’ll find distributing free products - whether this is done in person or in a direct mail campaign - will see your target audience look at you more favorably.

Indeed, research by the British Promotional Merchandise Association shows 79 per cent of those who have been given a promotional gift claim they are more likely to do business with that organization in the future.

Of course, you are free to hand out whatever promotional products you like, but I believe it’s important to take into account your target audience’s needs so that you choose products that will appeal to them. As a general rule, I think it’s best to go for everyday items like mugs that will be used regularly and provide lots of brand exposure. Promotional personalized pens are another great choice, not just because pens are an item that is used on a daily basis, but because they can be customized to make them relevant to the recipient.

Be receptive to feedback

Whether you have been established in your industry for many years or are just starting out, you should always be looking out for ways that your business can be improved. It would, however, be a mistake to think you know everything, so I suggest you ask for feedback from clients.

You might wish to attach a questionnaire to the products that you deliver or place a suggestions box next to a till; alternatively you may also want to give customers a quick call a few days after they have placed an order to gauge their views on the items they have bought.

Obviously, there is little point asking for customer feedback if you don’t act on the suggestions that are offered. If possible, demonstrate to your target audience that you have taken their views onboard and incorporated them into your business strategy. For example, you could publish customer reviews on your website.

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