In business there’s nothing more important than your reputation. Building a reputation for integrity and character can take decades to build and just moments to destroy. At no time in history has this been truer than now, when the age of Twitter and Facebook nameless trolls can ruin a business that has taken years to build. The question, then, is what steps you can take to improve the perception of your business and your reputation for fair and honest dealing.
Don’t Lose Your Cool
The most valuable thing you can do to improve your reputation is to make sure you don’t do anything to hurt it. You never know who’s a citizen journalist looking for their 5 minutes of fame by posting a video that destroys your business. With camera phones today, anyone might be recording and video of you yelling at customers, vendors or employees is a surefire way to gain a poor reputation in business.
Always Give Customers the Benefit of the Doubt
When you interact with customers, the best policy for gaining a good reputation is to give your customers the benefit of the doubt. The cost of accepting a questionable return or comping someone’s meal is far lower than the cost of bad reviews online. You may be in the right, but no one wins an argument with a customer. The number of satisfied customers who write positive reviews is extremely low, but if you give someone an unpleasant experience they’ll tell everyone they know about it – and they’ll never hear your side of the story.
Be a Force for Good in Your Community
If you really want to improve your reputation in business, make sure that your company has an active presence in the community. Be present and engaged with civic and philanthropic functions. Try to be helpful by giving back to your community. Done correctly, whatever you give in support of your community will come back to your business several times over. No one likes to support a scrooge in business, so make sure you’re active and generous enough to avoid that perception.
Unfortunately, to improve your reputation in business it isn’t enough to be a silent do-gooder. You can help your community by working behind the scenes, but you can’t help your reputation by doing good things that no one knows about. While it’s important not to be seen tooting your own horn, giving in subtle but visible ways can go a long way to improving your reputation. Be generous and do good deeds. You don’t need to brag, but neither should you hide your acts behind a cloak of anonymity. Instead, make people aware of some of the good things you do through social media and other outlets.
Building a good reputation in business is no easy task. The most important thing is not to do anything to hurt your reputation. However, there are other things that you can do to actively improve your reputation in business. It can be a tough balancing act to do good deeds and make sure people are aware without being seen as self-promoting. However, done correctly these small acts of generosity and activism can improve your reputation for being a business that your community wants to support. We hope you liked this article from Capstone Financial Planning.
Steven McMeechan is a strategic marketing and communications specialist with over twenty years’ experience in senior marketing management roles across a range of industries including Information Technology and Financial Services. He works for Capstone Financial Planning and lives in Melbourne Australia.