Every company needs to take steps to protect their reputation. In this digital age, it’s easy to stumble across bad reviews and negative news stories. Here are some of the biggest dangers to your reputation and how you can protect yourself against these dangers.
Bad customer service
Giving your customers what they want is essential in any company. Customers now have more power than ever before – a negative review on Trip Advisor or some badmouthing on Twitter can bring a small business to it’s knees. Providing good customer service requires hiring the right employees, training them up to a good standard and not taking on more than you and your team can handle. Going above and beyond the call of duty will encourage customers to leave positive reviews that will outweigh the negative feedback. Occasionally, you will get trolls and dishonest rival businesses spreading lies about your customer service, just as some companies will fake their own positive reviews. Most companies will be able to see through this dishonesty and work out whether you are credible themselves.
Health and safety hazards
Health and safety is very important. There are official bodies out there that will assess your safety including fire safety and food hygiene. Scoring badly in these assessments can be very bad for your reputation (many of these assessments can be publicly available). Poor health and safety could also make the headlines if a customer is injured and wants to seek legal action. It’s worth hiring someone to so a health and safety audit of your business so that you can eliminate any dangers.
If you’re unable to protect the personal data of your clients, this too will severely damage your reputation. Cyber-attacks and burglaries are becoming increasingly more common among small businesses. These can sometimes make public headlines and similarly result in lawsuits. Have cyberinsurance in place could help you to pay off clients that have had their personal details breached, but still may not be enough to protect your reputation. By far the best thing you can do is improve your security, whether it means buying the best digital security software you can afford or adding physical security features to your premises such as CCTV and a burglar alarm.
Environmentally unfriendly methods
Companies are also expected to be environmentally aware nowadays. Showing no consideration for the environment could reflect badly on you. You may be able to get advice on lowering your carbon footprint from companies such as carbon offset providers. The best carbon offset providers will be able to save you money as well helping you protect the environment. Embracing green methods such as recycling and using less paper can also help you to build a more positive reputation.
Employee dissatisfaction is also important to consider. Not only could this have a knock-on effect on customer service quality, it could lead to employees badmouthing your business. Your current employees may only do so among their close friends, whilst ex-employees may take things further writing reviews on sites like Glass Door and even contacting the media if they think they were treated particularly badly. Make sure that you’re meeting all your employees needs. Take extra measures to make the workplace a harmonious environment and provide good incentives that will keep your employees happy.