Every phone conversation, system installation, driver behavior and consumer review influences reputation…good or bad. For your business there are innumerable points that risk all the time and effort spent in building a good reputation. Have you listed them lately? Have you shared with your staff the importance of maintaining a good to excellent business reputation? I think this Rupert Murdoch quote clarifies the priority:
So, we can agree reputation is important. To turn that to actionable steps let’s break it into two areas – Risks and Resources. As a business owner I start off with some of the obvious ones like courtesy on the phone and making sure my field teams drive safely and are professional while on site. Risks that are a bit more hidden are often driven by newer technology and increased expectations.
The growth of social media and review sites like Yelp have shifted influence more peer-to-peer. Whether you believe in social media or not, one of the first things many folks do is go online to find out what they can about a product or company. Even if your Better Business Bureau reviews are strong your reputation can still be damaged by poor reviews on Facebook or damaging information showing up in a Google search.
Beware if you start to think the solution is to not have things online. Generally, people expect a digital presence beyond a website these days. Businesses in service and manufacturing particularly benefit with good reputations online and offline for recruiting and new sales. Clients and prospects expect to find you where they are looking. In other words, expectations are high that you are a strong company online and offline.
DON’T let this discourage you from making full use of online directories, social media and any other digital resource available to enhance your reputation.
DON’T loose sight of how important reputation is to a business. Online, offline, by referral or through association, customers, potential and existing employees and future opportunities are all impacted by how your business is perceived.
Reputation can change quickly, so stay vigilant and reinforce the message to your staff regularly. As Warren Buffett says
To download your REPUTATION poster, click here.
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