Don’t underestimate the value of reputation
Reputations take time to build but can fall in an instant and, once fallen, they are very difficult to rebuild. It is going to be very hard for the ABP Food Group to recover its operations with the major supermarkets following the recent horsemeat scandal.
So be very careful that your reputation isn’t undermined in any way. Find ways to prevent your business offering deviating from the strengths that your customers favour you for. Remember that what you and your people say and do in other areas can still have a detrimental effect on your business. Be mindful to establish social media policies and codes of conduct if you feel it’s an issue. Of course recruiting people who fit with your business strengths and values will definitely help, as will training and clearly communicating the quality standards, strengths and the ethics you are building your business offering around.
When looking at enhancing and protecting your reputation consider these elements to ensure it is not undermnded in any way:
- Your service standards – turnaround times, responsiveness, ability to keep customers informed
- Your communication styles – are you and your people easy to understand? Are your communications clear, free from typos, easy and quick to read?
- Your personalities – how personable are you and your people to customers?
- Your product or service quality – how faultless is your product or service? What added value do you deliver within the price people are happy to pay? Are people satisfied with what you deliver?