Posted by James C. Johnson on May 29th, 2007 6:46am EST
Small business survey says most owners won’t hire image consultants.
A company’s reputation is dependent upon a good business image. But, would you hire a consultant to enhance the image of your company? According to a recent BizBuySell survey, most business owners doubt the effectiveness of hiring consultants to improve business reputation, preferring instead to do their own marketing without external assistance.
The survey conducted by BizBuySell, an online business-for-sale marketplace, finds 74% of respondents believe business owners are more qualified than a hired consultant to improve the image of a business. 68% of respondents said they had never engaged a consultant to help improve their business.
Of those who had engaged consultants, 45% were moderately satisfied with the results. 27% felt the consultant did a great job for the business, while 24% regretted the decision to hire a consultant, stating it was a waste of time and money.
The largest group (52%) of survey respondents identified better customer service as the most important factor when attempting to improve a business. 81% chose individual conversation with customers—as opposed to periodic surveys and focus groups—as the most effective way to gauge how people perceive a business.
Some small business owners offered specific advice on improving business image through customer service:
- Answer the phones and return inquiries quickly. Speed in customer communication has been the best thing we have done.
- Just do honest work, treat your customers fairly and they will tell others.
- Take a step back—sit with some really close customers, and ask them.