First impressions count. But too often business owners focus on personal impressions without thinking about the impression their company is leaving. Brand reputation isn't just about your website and company social media. It's also about timeless objectives, like customer satisfaction and referrals that occur when you are able to leave a lasting and favorable impression on a customer.
Selling a Service
If your business is primarily involved in providing a service, your company's reputation becomes the product you are selling. In most instances, you are going to be providing customers with important documents, such as contracts, invoices, company marketing materials or other business documents.
You could just hand these over to your customer in a haphazard, stapled stack of mismatched paper types, your company contact information buried somewhere. Or, maybe you will go the extra step of sliding them all into a file folder, then handing them over, along with your card.
But why not step up your game? Your competitors probably are. Put all those important documents and company materials into a branded document folder. Document folders are especially useful when you have just a small number of important papers to provide customers at any one time.
Provided without a document folder, your customer will very easily misplace the papers or toss them. A document folder provides something more substantial that is more difficult to lose. Customers are also less likely to toss an entire folder into the trash than they are a few pieces of loose paper.
Leaving the Best Impression
Communications with your customers incudes not only verbal and electronic communications, but the necessary paperwork for business transactions. Take the example of Jeff, an entrepreneur who provides web design services. While much of Jeff's communication is completed online, a growing share of his business takes place with companies right in his own hometown. Many of these business owners prefer to have a face-to-face meeting prior to engaging Jeff's services.
That's where Jeff has been able to make excellent use of branded document folders. After demonstrating some of his past work, Jeff has been able to put hard copies of some of his designs into a folder, along with a marketing brochure, and leave it with customers. Client reaction has been extremely favorable and Jeff has seen an increase in business coming his way since implementing this step.
Contracts and Business Documents
Alex runs a small marketing company and had always used a branded marketing folder to hold promotional pieces. Yet, he often found himself handing customers other business documents piecemeal, like timesheets, memos and contracts. Later when he referred to these items while talking with customers over the phone, he often had to wait as customers scrambled to locate the paperwork he was referring to.
But one day, quite by accident, he put these papers into a marketing folder he had left over from his last order. That was when it struck him that clients would probably appreciate having a folder to hold any loose papers related to their business transactions with him. The next time Alex placed an order for his marketing folders, he created a second order for matching business document folders.
Trisha had only a few years under her belt as a real estate agent, but having made the transition from 15 years in the marketing sector, catering to customer needs and building a strong reputation for herself were among her strong points.
One of the first things she did after joining a brokerage was suggest that agents make better use of branded materials with the brokerage contact information prominently displayed. Among her suggestions was to use branded document folders, not just at closing, but throughout the time of the listing or buyer process whenever there were documents—such as market comparables, checklists, or other paperwork—to provide to clients.
The brokerage found helping their clients stay more organized not only improved customer service, but appeared to increase the number of referrals the brokerage was receiving. Past customers were left with the impression of the firm as an organized, knowledgeable organization and more likely to suggest the brokerage to friends and family.