Originally posted on October 13, 2009 on emeryroad.wordpress.com
Professionalism in business is so important, especially now in this poor economy. Customers want to work with businesses that strive to meet their expectations and they want to know that you have their best interests at heart.
An unprofessional operation, whether it is at the frontdesk or on a job site, is a major turn-off and can cost your company future business. If you removed all professionalism from your operations today but still offered the same service, you would probably find that a lot of your customers would move on to another company. Bad word-of-mouth would then spread like wildfire.
To help ensure your business operates as professionally as possible, consider these common problem areas and determine how your company can improve.
Investigate how you and your staff members are handling your company’s customer relations. Do your staff members communicate professionally to your customers? Are your customers satisfied with your level of customer service and how your company talks and works with them? How can this area be improved?
Suspicious activities by either the company or an employee can give your company a bad reputation. Strive to set best practices for company and employee conduct, including behavior outside of the office, to avoid negatively impacting your business.
Vendors who participate in activities such as bribery or child labor can do much damage to your company’s reputation. When working with other companies, whether locally or overseas, take caution and do your due diligence. Know the laws and do everything in your power to prevent being associated with unethical or illegal practices.
A poorly written and designed website can do more harm than good. Your website is a place your prospects will go to get more information about your company. You don’t want to scare them away with an unprofessional site.
Ask a variety of individuals, including a web designer or copywriter, for their honest opinion about your company’s website. Does it look professional? Is it free of grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors? Does it explain clearly and effectively what product or service your business provides? Does it offer multiple contact methods? If you have a brick and mortar store or office, does your website supply the location address and hours of operation?
Professional marketing materials are a must for any successful business and should be extensions of your website, not duplicates. Customers and prospects don’t want to read the same text; they want to learn more about your company with each piece of material they read. Are your materials free of errors and typos? Do they convey information clearly and effectively?
Just like other business materials, business e-mails represent your company. When sending e-mails, make sure they are free of errors and are concise and easy to read. If different topics need to be discussed, send them in separate e-mails with detailed subject lines.
Social Networking Profiles
Your profiles should demonstrate your professionalism and your expertise in your field. Proofread before and after submitting to ensure your profile is at its best.
Your Twitter account is another haven for errors and a lack of professionalism. When tweeting, review your tweets thoroughly to avoid making errors and be sure they are tasteful and non-offensive.
There are so many areas a company needs to consider in order to ensure professionalism. When your company takes the time to ensure everything is in order, customers will have more confidence in your company and its ability to deliver the services they need.
About the Author: Jody Calkins is a freelance business writer who writes about business development, risk management, security protection, and business standards. Visit www.emeryroad.com for more information and samples.