Build an outstanding reputation
“You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression”. Customers, suppliers and your own team have excellent memories when it comes to your reputation. Good or bad, they will remember how they felt or feel when they think about your business.
If its good, then they will reflect positively about their experiences. The positive feelings as they hit the various touchpoints on their journey with your company. Their brain will send reinforcing signals to repeat the feel-good effect to re-engage again and again.
A poor reputation has the opposite effect. And no matter how hard you try getting the marketing message out there, it will be to no avail if your reputation is tarnished.
It gets worse. The human condition means we will tell more people when we have had a bad experience than when we have had a positive one.
It takes years to create and seconds to destroy
A great reputation is hard earned, it is the outworking of many, many interactions with customers, suppliers, team members and your competition. It is the aggregate of the total that eventually distils into the essence that is a reputation.
A competitive advantage
Each positive touchpoint adds to it, and over time embeds it in their minds. This can play to your advantage
When comparing you to your competition it is your reputation that determines success or failure, yes or no, move ahead or bring the relationship to a halt.
A few years back an article highlighted the following – if you do what you say you will do, in the time that you agreed, at the negotiated price then you are in the top 20% of all companies in the UK.
That is a damning indictment of business here in the UK. But one you can use.
Trust – the foundation for success
Build trust by being credible, reliable, demonstrating interest in them and overcome flagrant self-interest. Ensure your team understand what they can do to contribute to building and sustaining your reputation. Communicate what they can do to help at every opportunity, big or small. They all count.
Reward behaviours that enhance reputation
“What gets measured gets done.” A statement true now as it was when it was first written down. But times have changed, and the emphasis has also changed. It should now read “What gets rewarded gets done”. Positive reinforcement will pay huge dividends. Not just monetary. A heartfelt, sincere “Well done” carries as much weight, if not more, than a voucher.