It takes years to build a great and valuable reputation and it only takes minutes to destroy it. That’s what Gerald Ratner did.
‘It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation and only one bad one to lose it’ Benjamin Franklin
Understanding reputation and reputational risk management are both crucial to the success of your business.
So, what kind of reputation do you and your business have? What score would you give yourself where 1 is bad and 5 is good – I’m guessing at least a 4. But do you actually know what people are saying, really saying, about you? If you asked them to score your reputation would they give you a 4, 5 or !?
People will be saying good things, bad things or no things.
If it’s good things, then surely you’ll want to capture those thoughts, comments, quotes and sound bites to re-use in your marketing; sharing them with others. And what about those ‘it was good but…’ comments? They are gold dust as they give you pointers to indicate where all is not well and you need to correct something. They are an opportunity to improve.
Now if it’s bad things that people are saying you need to deal with the issues and stop further damage to your reputation. You might not agree with their comments – but whatever you do don’t ignore those comments; act on them. We all know that people only tell one or two people about good things but they tell as many people as they can about bad things.
Remember to get your staff involved. If they don’t understand what supports a good reputation or risks damaging that reputation then you’re risk has increased. Teach them about reputation and make them understand that they must protect the company reputation at all times. In the past this has meant restrictions on who can talk to the press etc. This is accepted practice but with the social media explosion there are many opportunities for employees to post an adverse comment even if they didn’t mean too! Time to update your staff social media policy!
Remember ‘if you don't know what's wrong you can't fix it’ so don’t ignore it. Test it regularly.
And finally if people aren’t saying anything then you are probably invisible!
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