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There are many types of professionals on the Internet. Business consultants, writers, web designers, software developers, the list goes on and on. What does it take to be considered a professional? Well, according to the definition from Webster’s dictionary, a professional is “Engaged in, or worthy of the standards of, a profession.”
Does this definition mean that if you are engaged in a profession you are automatically considered a “professional?” Of course not. Creating a professional image entails a great deal of time and effort. Not only should you have a great deal of knowledge and experience in your chosen field, but you must conduct your business in a professional manner.
Developing a professional image on the Internet will include all aspects of your business.
Your attitude is one of the most important aspects of developing your professional image. It can make or break you. The way you deal with your peers, customers, questions, complaints, requests or compliments will all reflect upon your professionalism.
Let your customers know how much they’re appreciated. Be well mannered, respectful and warm. Always remember to say please, thank you and you’re welcome.
Never be dishonest with or mislead your customers. It will eventually catch up with you. Tell it like it is. You have to earn your customer’s trust to create long term relationships.
Always over-deliver in all aspects of your business. If you over-inflate the perceived value of your product, your customers will be disappointed and probably not buy from you in the future.
When dealing with your customers, go above and beyond the expected. Listen to your customers and validate their feelings. Just because you know and understand something, don’t assume they do.
Poor technical support is probably one of the biggest complaints from unsatisfied customers. Make yourself completely available to assist your customers. Answer their emails and return their phone calls as quickly as possible. Work with them until you have a satisfactory solution.
Always happily refund your customers money if they aren’t satisfied. Don’t argue the issue or write nasty messages. Be courteous, apologetic, and ask your customers why they weren’t satisfied. Remember… The customer is always right, even if you feel they’re wrong.
Your web site is a direct reflection of you and your business. It should look professional in design, contain your complete contact information, including your phone number, provide complete product information and an easy ordering process.
Fellow Business Owners
Creating your professional image on the Internet not only includes your business and customers, but it also includes being respectful to fellow business owners. If someone requests a link exchange or any kind of business promotional exchange, answer their email. That’s considered a professional courtesy. Whether you’re interested in their proposal or not, you should at least acknowledge their request. Failure to do so is not only considered rude, but unprofessional.
Always strive to do-the-best-you-can-do and everything else will fall into place.