It would be hard to overstate the reputation benefits of performing “good works,” especially if you make those good works a regular part of your company’s policy and procedure. Such actions help you create a positive reputation firewall that will help to shield you from any defamatory reviews that you receive, as well as any legitimate customer problems that you encounter.
Here are three ways that you can start right now.
Pay employees more.
Most consumers are also workers. Workers are painfully aware that most companies do not value them, and they know that people just like them have harder lives as a result of these attitudes.
It’s hard for consumers to feel any loyalty to the company or brand as a result.
Companies who take the opposite approach still post very nice profits – and they avoid some fairly major problems that could actively create legitimate negative reviews. Furthermore, companies who treat their employees well are so rare that they tend to receive positive news coverage as a result of their policies.
Don’t forget that there are now quite a few sites devoted to allowing employees to post anonymous reviews of their employers. These reviews can be just as damaging as customer reviews can be. Cultivating happy employees is just good business, and it’s hard to be happy if you aren’t sure where your next meal is coming from.
Donate some product.
This week, retailer Meijer partnered with Skechers shoes to donate over 22,500 pairs of brand new “BOBS” shoes to impoverished Detroit-area children. Both companies can expect a positive impact on their reputations as the story gets out to more news outlets. They can expect to make more sales, too: people will feel just a little bit better about doing business with both brands.
This action won’t wipe out any negative reviews either company may already have acquired. But it will push them down in the search results, and it may cause customers to give these reviews a lot less weight. A story about a grumpy cashier won’t erase a customer’s good feelings about helping Detroit’s needy kids.
Finding ways to become more sustainable can be incredibly profitable. “Going green” also generates yet another legitimate reason to write a positive press release. It’s a story which is likely to be well received by both publications and customers alike.
One caveat: make sure your practices actually create positive change. “Greenwashing” ultimately backfires, once it’s discovered.
The bottom line…
People are all too willing to believe terrible things about companies who routinely act badly, but the reverse is also true. People are inclined to be more forgiving of companies who openly and consistently choose to take the high road.