We all know just how vital it is for a business to have a strong company culture, happy staff, and processes that work and elevate success. However, something that is often missed from conversation is; Customer Perception. Of course, how customers feel about your company is important – no one likes to see negative reviews online, after all – but more than that, customer perception, over time, can play a huge part in the long-term success of your business.
So, here we’ll be taking a look at what customer perception is and what contributes to it. As well as why it’s so important for your business and the elements you need to look at in order to provide a more positive perception for customers.
What Does Customer Perception Mean?
So, what is the definition of customer perception? It’s based on the way that customers feel and think about your company and your brand. This will include any beliefs they have formed about your offerings, your ethical standpoint, and your standards. Rightly or wrongly, customers (and non-customers) will have an opinion on your business, and it’s up to you to control and take care of those opinions – making sure that the perception of your business is a positive one.
What Plays Into Customer Perception?
Customer perception is not always directly linked to customer experience. Even customers who have never had any interaction with your brand might believe either negative or positive things about your company (or have opinions based on what they have read online or heard from others).
While customers who have had experiences with you will have formed their own perception of your brand, others may have gained their perception from reviews, word of mouth, social media, influencers, marketing, and more. Basically anywhere where your business has communicated with the world around it.
Another thing to consider is the difference between customer experience and quality. Outside of your service, they will also have a perception centred around the quality of what you offer. So even if they have had a positive customer experience, if they believe the product they received is inferior, this could lead to negative customer perception.
Customer Perception And Your Brand
The perceptions that your customers hold will have a huge effect on how your brand is perceived overall. Clients and customers who have had great experiences with you will often share this with their colleagues, friends and more. They may even write a review of your product or services and post it online. However, it’s no secret that many customers are quicker to complain than to compliment, as they will be seeking a resolution. Social media platforms have made this easier than ever before, which often means that people will be seeing more negative than positive information. Therefore, counteracting this and building a positive customer perception is a huge part of modern marketing and can have an incredible impact on how your brand is seen by potential customers and investors.
Customer Perception And Your Staff
Customer perception doesn’t only matter when it comes to those who may wish to access your product/service from a consumer perspective. Potential employees will often look up the perception of a company before applying, and if there is overall negative brand perception, they may not apply. This might include a negative perception of your service quality, your employee happiness, your ethical standpoint, or your company culture. However, it could come down to customers having strong negative views and potential candidates not wishing to be associated with this – believing that this will make their jobs harder and more unenjoyable.
Customer Perception And Purchasing Choices
As well as having a large effect on your brand image, customer perception impacts purchasing choices. In a world where there is so much competition with every single product or service, the need to remain on top, or fill a niche, in order to remain successful (and future-proof your business) is more important than ever.
However, no matter how high quality or bespoke your offering is, customer perception can be even more important. If customers believe that they will not be giving their money to a company that shares their values and ethics, they may go elsewhere. This is why an increasing number of companies are finding the value of going green, as this helps to improve customer perception across a younger demographic, with an incredible amount of purchasing power and online influence which can be harnessed to promote your brand for free.
Customer Perception And Confirmation Bias
We’ve all heard that first impressions matter a lot. Because of this, you might not be surprised to find out that those who have an existing perception of your company are more difficult to win over. This is due to confirmation bias – those who hold a certain belief will be certain of this, and it will take a big effort to make them believe something different. Of course, this means that it becomes fundamentally important for the first impression your customers form to be a good one, or it could cost a lot on marketing to create counter-active positive press.
How Can You Create Better Customer Perception?
There is a lot that needs to go into creating a better customer perception, and the first step is providing high-quality and consistent customer experiences across the board, with the technology to back this up. Not every customer will have a perfect experience, so offering excellent customer support is very important. While marketing and strong branding can help to improve your image, ensuring that you share good customer experiences can be more powerful and feel more authentic to potential stakeholders, and the general public. You’ll find greater, longer running, success in creating a stellar customer experience (resulting in positive customer perceptions) than to not and invest time and money in creating counter-active marketing to remedy negative experiences.
It also helps to show that you have a strong company culture and support ethical and social issues, which can encourage those who share the same beliefs.
How Yo Telecom Can Help
Here at Yo, we’re all about Improving Business Success through telecoms, technology and other means. With over a decade of experience behind us, we understand the different needs of businesses within numerous industries, and of varying scale. So, if you are interested in updating your telephone system and/or WiFi, then Yo Telecom can help. Enter your details in the contact form below to find out how we can help your business TODAY!