It’s obvious to all of us that maintaining a good corporate reputation is important, but do we fully understand what this means in practice or what “good” actually is? When done correctly, good corporate reputation management should do two things:
If we take some big name companies, Rolex for example, you immediately think of a reputation for luxury and quality. Or when you think of Amazon you think of a reputation of being able to find whatever you want and having it delivered the next day.
With both of these examples, we know what these companies stand for and we’ve seen them perform consistently to those expectations. This tells us that it might actually be simpler than you thought to effectively manage your corporate reputation, because both the examples above didn’t achieve their good reputations from fancy PR campaigns and advertising (though they may have played their part) they gained those reputations by consistently doing what they said they were going to do.
This gives you a lot of leeway in your own corporate reputation management, you just need to decide what you stand for and ensure you stick by it.
Brand perception is influencing more and more buyers, and as brands move into the world of social media and online reviews, a good (or bad) reputation can make or break a company. Put simply, customers always have options, and if you have a bad reputation, they’re going to move on quickly (and we all love a good story of a very public reputation fail don’t we?).
Good corporate reputation management on the other hand can:
You should definitely see your corporate reputation as an asset, how you’re perceived is vital for customers to trust you.
We’ve touched on this above and can’t stress enough how vital it is to get this right as a first step. If you don’t know what you stand for, you can’t start to manage your corporate reputation.
Your marketing efforts and product development will be misguided, customers won’t know what to expect from you and you’ll eventually start to lose the trust of your customers.
When a customer has a different experience every time they buy from you, you’ll start to give the impression that you simply don’t care about them and don’t stand for anything at all.
Don’t make the mistake is thinking a good reputation only means high quality/high cost products, remember, you decide what you stand for, and as long as you do it consistently, you’ll start to build a reputation.
Some examples you might want to choose include:
Whatever you decide you stand for, just make sure it’s clear, easy to understand and your brand will naturally start to form your reputation. We’ve gone into more detail here on the specifics of building your brand (and in turn your reputation) but what you stand for should always drive your reputation management.
Once you’re clear on what you stand for, ensure that this message gets presented consistently across all platforms as the bulk of reputation management is now taking place online. This includes;
The more you can promote a clear and consistent message (and of course prove you’re able to do what you say) the more solidified your reputation becomes in people’s minds.
Collecting feedback is also critical for good corporate reputation management, and in many cases, your feedback is your reputation. Your customers are the ones who are best placed to tell you if you have a good reputation or not.. (Looking for a tool to collect feedback? Sign up for Trustmary Solo for free!)
Online feedback is the most public display of your reputation. Reviews, social media comments, forum discussions and search engine results are the first impression of reputation new customers will get. It’s therefore vital to collect (and act) on that feedback to ensure your reputation is secure.
You can leverage your feedback in several different ways to help boost your reputation:
Don’t just limit your feedback gathering to customers too. Remember to get feedback from your staff, they can provide valuable insights on where they think the company’s reputation sits and help get you back on track.
For many organizations their reputation management might be an afterthought. Something that only comes into play when a problem arises. This complacent attitude often leads to a poor, reactive method of managing reputation and leaves them open to making mistakes, upsetting customers or committing a social media gaff because they don’t have a consistent way to manage attacks on their reputation.
However, those who proactively manage their reputation by consistently carrying out the three steps listed above, will not only be able to clearly state what they stand for and have clear customer expectations, they’ll also bring with it some additional benefits such as:
Maintaining a good corporate reputation means ensuring you always present a clear message, that you consistently sell this message and that you stay up to date on your customer opinions. Once you can apply these three principles consistently, you’ll find your reputation will start to manage itself.
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