Integrity refers to a person or entity having a strong moral code, which is a desirable trait to have in any relationship. When it comes to business partnerships, one of the most important aspects that will allow said relationship to flourish is professionalism. Professionalism and integrity often go hand in hand. They signal that a party can be trusted, and trust is a key tenet to a thriving partnership. But… what exactly is professionalism? Is it a style of dress or a manner of conduct? Let’s talk about it.
What is professionalism?
For most of the 20th century and part of the 21st, professionalism could (supposedly) be spotted and identified by physical markers. If you had certain qualities about you, you could pass as “professional”. You were professional if you wore a suit or pencil skirt, had a clean shaven face and put-together hairdo, and stood up straight.
In this day and age, these indicators could be misleading when you’re trying to identify if a business is professional or not. Anyone can throw on a suit and tie, but not everyone can deliver on the promises they make you.
As with all words and concepts, the definition of professionalism has changed gradually with the times. What does the new “professionalism” look like?
Our world is no longer solely physical storefronts and face-to-face interactions. In fact, a majority of our interactions now take place in the online space. Due to this digital shift, old physical markers of professionalism no longer help us in identifying trustworthy individuals and businesses. So what clues can we look for now?
When looking for a company to employ or partner up with, most people instinctively know to look for “professional” looking online presences- a clean and easy to use website, prompt and helpful customer service, and consistent branding across all social platforms. In short, professionalism seems to signal trustworthiness to a majority of people.
It is extremely important to polish your online presence in order to appear safe and professional, which is something that our KEY27 Marketing team knows how to achieve with ease.
But putting appearances aside, behavioural indicators can also play a big factor in a business appearing put together. What qualities stand out in customer interactions that allude to a business being professional or not?
What makes a business professional?
1. Fast Response Times
First and foremost, a sign of professionalism is responding to customers quickly when they inquire about your services. Who wants to wait weeks on end to hear back from a business? At KEY27 Marketing, we make it a priority to show you that we value your time as much as you do- our response times are lightning fast.
2. Helpful Customer Service
A professional business will not only appear safe and put-together on paper, but also reflect those qualities in its customer interactions right away. Attentive, tailored customer service is a massive green flag for how professional your company comes across. Listening is key and KEY27 prides itself on its stellar customer service.
3. Delivering on Promises
Anybody can promise you the moon, but not everybody can deliver it. If one party commits to delivering an agreed-upon result, it can come across as unprofessional if they fail to do so. Knowing your capabilities and marketing yourself accordingly is a sign of true professionalism. At KEY27, we do NOT sugar coat things! Many clients find this refreshing, as keeping expectations realistic is key to a working relationship.
4. Respecting Timelines
There is no reason to not meet deadlines. Professional businesses set realistic deadlines and respect them. At KEY27 we know that time is money, and so our services are conducted accordingly. If there is an issue, the client or partner is alerted immediately and a solution is found in a timely manner.
5. Open Communication
Constant and clear communication with business partners and clients is one of the biggest signs of professionalism in a company. This allows for adjustments to be made and plans to be optimized depending on changing circumstances. This is important because, as we all know, life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans. Being able to communicate respectfully can make or break any relationship.
6. Qualifications and Experience
If you are hiring a company or partnering up with their services, you want to be sure they know what they’re doing. At KEY27 Marketing we have over 10 years of experience in digital marketing- this sets us apart from newer companies that have to figure out the ropes while they are working with you. The benefit of working with a professional company is that you don’t need to worry about whether or not they can get the job done- they have the reviews and the anecdotal evidence to support their claims that they know what they’re doing. With many satisfied clients under our belt, we have knowledge and experience to help you achieve all of your online marketing goals.
Considering these criteria, it’s not hard to see why clients and business partners would value professionalism and integrity above all else. In a confusing, chaotic world, it’s nice to know that at least your business interactions will go smoothly.
As exemplified above, we believe at KEY27 Marketing Oakville we check all of the boxes for what makes a business professional. Not convinced? Book your FREE 30 minute consultation today and find out for yourself what KEY27 Marketing can do for your online presence.