A strong reputation has the potential to be your greatest asset, but just one crisis could irrevocably tarnish your image and ruin your business.
Reputational damage is often tied to business risks – such as a cyber attack that gets access to your customers’ personal data, or improper care and disposal of waste oil that harms your community and the environment, for example.
Here is a partial list of risks and events that can cause damage to your reputation:
- Product recalls or concerns over product quality
- Allegations of poor or improper business practices
- Health or safety incidents, involving either employees or customers
- Regulatory investigations
- Negative associations with third parties
Additionally, social media and online review services can also be used to quickly spread negative publicity that can severely harm your reputation.
4 Strategies to Lower Your Reputational Risks
1. Create strong and relevant corporate values
Create and regularly communicate strong corporate values that permeate every level of your business. These should reflect the values of all your employees and stakeholders.
2. Integrate a risk evaluation into your business planning
Identify opportunities, threats, and assumptions that accompany your shop’s plans and strategies. Don’t assume that longstanding strategies or well-developed plans are free from reputational risk; instead, develop hypothetical scenarios to identify how your reputation could be affected.
3. Promote positive interactions with customers and other stakeholders
Strengthen your reputation before a crisis occurs by aligning your goals and connecting with your stakeholders. Your customers appreciate regular and positive interactions, and you can use tools like email communications or social media to reach out to them.
4. Develop a crisis management and response plan
In the event of a crisis, it’s important to have a response plan in place to help you respond quickly and decisively. Respond to questions and concerns promptly and continue to communicate your corporate values.
As you know, it’s inevitable that every repair shop experiences some form of reputational damage, but there are ways to limit your exposures and to cover potential losses by being proactive about managing your reputation.