Perception is such a powerful thing, we are all perceived differently as people by our peers, family and friends – the same applies to your business and more importantly your website. Your website is often prospective customers first insight into your business so what they read initially determines how they perceive you. Make big claims, look important and generally people will believe what they read. But dig a little deeper and often you can uncover some truths that can knock a business down a peg or two.
Like most in business we strive to maintain our top ranking in Google for our main business keywords, other than client referrals leads from Google are our biggest source of clients. We also use these rankings to see who Google thinks are our main competitors and we often skim through their websites to see what they are upto, who doesn’t. One such competitor came under particular scrutiny from us this month thanks to some spamming of some of our key clients and covert (pretending to be from a ficticious business yet having their real business name in their voicemail – oops) calls to our office to find out our transcription rates.
This is where perception came in. At first glance some of the content we read made us think this was a huge company, they have a Board of Directors that meet monthly, they have been around for decades, their staff have fancy titles like “Business Development Representative” but when you look a little closer are these really such amazing things? Perception was yes, reality was no.
Lets start with having a Board of Directors. Well we have one of those and we meet daily, we just don’t state that on our website. Amazing what a few photos of people in business attire sitting posed will do, yes looks impressive but when we followed a link to one of the Directors website, it was very poor and did not give a good perception other than they were just there to look good and add “perceived credibility”.
Claims of being around for decades, maybe a business has evolved since the beginning of time but is it really the same business that was started all those years ago? In this particular example the government had started transcription way way back, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that, as was the trend, time to let this activity go to private business which is when this company was really formed – oh same time as us !
How about Business Development Representative as a title. If you were a Uni student and given some work, cold calling, how would you feel about that title, quite chuffed I reckon.
But what annoys me most is disclosure or lack of it. Be honest about who you employ and where your work is going. We openly state that we use Australian and New Zealand typists, that is my policy and although sometimes it is hard to stick to for a number of reasons we do stick to it. Sure we could outsource our work to India or the Philippines for a fraction of the cost we pay our local typists, but we don’t. I am sure the typing in these countries is great, but my companies policy is to have Australian audio transcribed in Australia.
My emotions about these incidents this week have swayed during the week from anger, to fear, to amazement and finishing with pride and confidence. Proud that my business is being looked at by my competitors, proud that we conduct ourselves ethically and confident that we continue to provide a professional service.