The reputation of your business is vital. The number of potential customers and partners that you can lose from a bad one can seriously affect your bottom line. Things can get even worse with the Internet. A single incident can eventually become an avalanche of lost or canceled orders. Taking steps to protect your company’s reputation should be one of your priorities. Here are some things that you can do.
Focus on Creating a Positive Experience
The most significant sources of issues against your business are angry people. These can be displeased customers or disgruntled employees. Your goal is to avoid making them. For that to happen, you need to focus on keeping everyone as happy as possible. It can be difficult, but if you can reduce the number of angry people against your company, then there are fewer negative voices out there.
For customers, you should try to provide a positive customer experience by being as honest and transparent as possible. Employees are much more difficult to please, but focusing on fair treatment and listening to their concerns can go a long way.
Be Aware of What People Say
You need to know your current reputation if you want to do something. Several tools can keep track of mentions of your company. Even a simple Google Alert can help you figure out what the public thinks of your company. The important thing here is to nip all the negative gossip in the bud immediately. If there are public complaints on the Internet, quickly reach out to the involved person or make a statement. The faster you respond, the less damage to your reputation happens.
Have Crisis Plans Ready
Some incidents can be devastating to a company’s reputation. These can include public scandals and accusations of criminal activity. You must have a clear idea of what to do when they happen. Set aside time to sit down with your team to create a solid crisis plan for any PR crisis that comes up. For example, when you are facing a criminal investigation, your plan should include hiring a corporate fraud law firm to help handle the investigation. Besides dealing with the authorities, they can also help manage the PR fallout so that you can come out of it looking honest and sympathetic.
Include Moral and Legal Concerns in Your Business Decisions
With the increased attention that customers are giving to the companies they buy from, it is a good idea to get ahead of any issue by keeping your nose clean. Having clear moral and legal obligations when doing business ensures that when people look at your company closely, they will come away with high praise. For example, you should enforce equal treatment of your workers, no matter what gender or race. Being against harassment and prejudice in your operations can prevent scandals that can stain your company’s reputation. Other obligations include following safety rules and even improved data security.
Your company’s reputation can make or break it. Do your best to ensure that it stays clean as possible in this era of social media and 24/7 news.