Whether you are building a new brand or try to maintain your business momentum, you might already be aware of the importance of your brand’s reputation. Recent social responsibility scandals, tax evasion cases, and employee rights court cases have shown companies that they have more to lose when they don’t do things right than a few thousand dollars in fines. If you would like to maintain your brand’s reputation, you might want to follow the below guide and implement some changes to prevent long term damage and the loss of your market share.
Strong Values, Mission, and Vision
The first thing you will need to do is create a strong vision and mission statement, based on your personal and corporate values. For example, if you work in the building industry, you can state that you would like to provide affordable homes for middle-class professionals to improve their lives. Everything you do in the future – and your business strategy – should be determined by your strong values and mission.
2. Get Everyone on Board
It is, however, not enough that you know about your company’s values, mission, and vision. To be an effective leader, you’ll need to learn to communicate it with your employees, contractors, and business partners. Even if you have strong ethical standards when it comes to water use or employee rights, if your subcontractors neglect these values, you might end up in trouble. Hence, you’ll need to vet and screen all your employees and business partners, to make sure you are on the same page when it comes to doing business ethically.
3. Compliance Is Key
While you might want to go beyond legislation, the first step towards protecting your brand’s reputation is complying with your industry’s and your local government’s regulations. Doing things that are completely legal is, however, the first of many steps. You will also need to avoid business decisions that are questionable, and might put some of your stakeholders in risk. Always try to go beyond compliance, but create internal policies to ensure you are complying with the legislation.
4. Corporate Ethics
Companies that neglect ethical standards often end up in legal trouble and see their share prices wiped off within a few days. To prevent your business from going down this route, you will need to create detailed behavior policies, and guidelines. Focus on whistle-blowing, authority, personal responsibility, and ethical standards. Make sure that your employees have a manager to turn to whenever they are facing an ethical dilemma, so you don’t end up taking the responsibility for their bad judgments.
5. Risk Assessment
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No matter if you are working in the construction or the personal finance industry, you will need to carry out regular risk assessments to identify the areas that need your attention. Whether it is a loose plug, a lack of training among your employees, or discrepancies in data handling and storage, you need to address the problems as soon as possible to protect your reputation.
6. Quality Assurance
If you manufacture goods for customers or clients, you will need to put an effective quality assurance system in place. Spot checks are not always enough, and you can benefit from the implementation of QA in more than one way. First, you can protect your reputation, by making sure that all your products are up to the customer’s expectations. Second, you can promote high standards in your company. Finally, you can reduce or eliminate waste and cut costs. You might want to talk to a QA automation engineer to design a system that meets the needs of your business.
7. Consumer Protection Policies
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One of the main reasons for declining business reputation is unhappy customers. If your clients are unable to get their voice heard or find it hard to return the items, they are not likely to buy from you again. Also, you will want to know that customers who are unhappy are more likely to post about their experiences than those who are satisfied. You will need to monitor your customer service to make sure that you are not leaving issues unresolved. Implement consumer protection policies and attach them to your terms and conditions.
Whether you are running an online store or a multinational construction business, your reputation is your most important asset. Maintain high standards when it comes to customer service, ethical practices, and protecting your workers and your customers. Carry out regular risk assessments, and embrace a caring culture, so your mission, vision, and values are represented in every strategic decision you make.