The keys to life and death for your business

Managing reputation risk in today’s business environment cannot be considered a second or third order priority. It is no exaggeration to say that it is essential to the survival of the business.

You can see this in bigger business in markets where access to credit has been severely curtailed and the price of risk significantly increased, and inappropriate behaviour by a rogue employee can ruin an entire enterprise overnight.

Businesses, big and small, can have their reputation ruined by serious problems such as:

  • a lapse in product quality control,
  • a bribe paid overseas to retain an existing contract, or
  • a business partner acting for personal gain.

However, your business’ reputation can also be ruined by seemingly small problems such as:

  • not responding to customer or prospect enquiries,
  • dishonesty – for any reason, in any way and to anyone,
  • missing deadlines and not returning phone calls by the next working day,
  • unethical behaviour,
  • overpromising and under-delivering,
  • forcing people to speak to multiple people or departments to speak to a decision maker or someone who can knowledgably assist with enquiries,
  • not acknowledging and resolving problems, and
  • ignoring customers, treating them as invoice numbers and being inflexible to their needs.

Chances are, your business will be guilty of at least one of these problems that can affect how people perceive your business. Not only can this result in a loss of customers, but it can become even more dangerous to your business as bad stories usually spread further and faster than good stories do.

Reputation and perception are often more impactful than your:

  • business’ solution
  • quality
  • price
  • brilliance.

Trust is the glue for businesses, big and small. Today more than ever, people care about authenticity, transparency, trust and honesty.

How much do people care about these non-tangible values?

Enough to walk away from your business… loudly.

So how you can help your business?

Often it takes a fresh perspective from someone independent of your business to be able to see the areas that can ruin your business’ reputation.

It also requires listening to your customers and having a program that carefully obtains their feedback about any issues that could potentially ruin your business’ reputation.

Finally, it requires actively and deliberately creating the reputation that you want for your business. If you would like to talk about how you can you do that in your business, I’d be happy to help.

Don’t forget, you have as many opportunities to create a great reputation for your business as you do to create a bad reputation.

This is why it is so important to have an independent review of your business, including researching what people are saying and thinking about you and your business.

Do you know what your business’ reputation is? For your business to survive bumps in the road, changing markets and long-term success, an extraordinary reputation is vital. It could mean the difference between the life and death of your business.

  • Would you agree?
  • Do you have any examples of a business that has a particularly bad or a particularly good reputation that impacts their bottom line?

2 thoughts on “The keys to life and death for your business”

  1. Great post Phoebe!

    There are many businesses that stand out as examples of reputation impact.

    Apple is an obvious first, but what really is interesting for me is where a business didn’t initially realise the value, but then went to cultivate and build it and has benefited immensely from it.

    Jack in a box is one. Chicos from Mexico is another. Increasingly, the online media has had a major impact on reputation and brand such as in the case of Nestle.

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