Joan Jett may not give a damn about her reputation, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. In business, reputation is almost everything. I say almost because actual merit and quality will always shine through. But having a bad reputation in the business world is not going to do you any favors.
Does your business have a bad reputation among the public? You’re going to need to take action as soon as possible.
First things first: why do you have a bad reputation? Is it because of something that could be changed easily, like high prices? Is it because you’re paying low wages? These things seem easy to fix because you’re just adjusting numbers. However, if you gone back on promises to a consumer or y’know, misled the governments of the world, then you have a tougher ride ahead of you. But this is all assuming that your reputation comes from something obvious. If you’re not sure, then you’re going to need to do a lot of research.
Words and actions
So let’s say you made a huge error. Clients don’t want anything to do with you. Customers aren’t buying your products. Subscriber numbers are plummeting. Your once-great name has been tarnished and the press are not letting up about it. The first thing most companies will do is apologize publicly. But sometimes those companies won’t actually do enough to make up for it. Sometimes, it works the other way round: a company won’t actually address the issue directly. But they’ll start taking other action that everyone can see is damage control. One or the other isn’t enough. Fess up, apologize, outline the action you’ll be taking, and take it.
Going forward, you’re going to want to keep a close eye on how your reputation is doing. This involves tracking quite a few things. It can be summed up as “brand analysis”, but you need to understand how thorough you need to be. You need to be checking reviews, press articles, social media, sales, everything. This will clue you in on how your reputation shifts in the coming months. Look into online review management if you need assistance.
An overhaul of business principles
What are the principles of your business? Are they things that you’ve outlined to your consumers? A lot of companies have their brand philosophy, or “rules”, on their website. If you’ve breached some of these, then you’ll need to work extra hard to gain trust back. If you don’t have anything like this, it might be time to consider drafting some up and sharing them. This can help introduce an action plan for recovery and amends.
Don’t slow down
One of the biggest challenges here is juggling all of this while keeping business going. It shouldn’t result in a slowing down of production, marketing, or online content creation. You need to keep the ship moving; it can help show your power and determination in the face of adversity. Which isn’t to say you shouldn’t make the other tasks a priority. After all, a bad reputation is hard to fix. But it’s not impossible.