Does your business have good references? No matter what your answer is, it is a humbling thought. When most people think about references, they often think about job resumes or service inquiries. But in reality, solid references are just as important to businesses as they are to jobs and services.
There are two primary situations in which a business needs references, as pointed out in the above video. The first, and most obvious one, involves service to customers. For example, a potential customer might seek information from an existing customer. The second situation involves vendors. In this case, a potential vendor might request information regarding a business’s credit or other serious issues from an existing vendor.
To guarantee that your business has good references, you have to make sure that it is performing effectively as a whole. For instance, you don’t want customers and vendors to have just an "okay" or "fine" opinion of you. Instead, you want them to have an opinion of you that exhibits responsibility, value, and competence.
In order for businesses to get these references, they need to go above and beyond expectations. The extra phone call, early payment, and other similar elements are the difference between satisfactory service and exceptional service.
If a customer or vendor is to be very pleased with his service, encourage them to write a testimonial, review, or comment. This process should be very simple for them, because the easier it is, the more references you will likely receive. For tech-savvy users, businesses should encourage them to write reviews on sites such as Yelp and Google Maps.
Unfortunately, businesses are also prone to get negative feedback. Although negativity is never welcome, businesses can sometimes use it to make improvements. However, if the negative references outweigh the positive ones, then the business needs to make some drastic changes to its service model.
Businesses should set their standards high in order to get lots of good references. If so, they can rotate them to show that they are continually providing excellence and staying current.
How is your business doing in the reference department? Is it experiencing growth as a result of good references?