Corporate reputation is a big deal for any business because it ties into sales, brand visibility, and customer satisfaction.
It is built over time through an organization’s actions and interactions with others. It determines stakeholders’ level of trust in a brand and the steps required to maintain that trust.
Understanding how your business impacts public perception is important because it affects everything from your ability to attract new customers to how much money you make.
In this post, we’ll cover corporate reputation and share quick tips to improve it.
What is Corporate Reputation?
Corporate reputation is the public’s perception of a business. It’s the impression and how people perceive you as an organization with your products, services, and behaviors.
It can be measured by many factors, including market share, brand equity, and customer satisfaction. These factors can be influenced online and offline and can be seen in loyal customers and strangers.
Take, for example, Apple. It has a solid corporate reputation judging by the way customers are constantly eager to acquire new products, regardless of how pricey they are. Apple’s reputation is connected to product quality. The company also provides the most outstanding customer experience possible.
However, a company’s reputation can be damaged by bad press and negative customer reviews. So, it is crucial to actively protect your corporate reputation. You want to showcase the positives of your brand and minimize the negatives. This requires a dedicated marketing and PR effort.
Factors Affecting Corporate Reputation
Companies need to build their reputations as they go through their business operations. It takes time. It requires constant vigilance and maintenance since it can be easily damaged or tarnished by bad decisions or poor management.
A company’s reputation is affected by various factors. Let’s look at some of the most critical factors influencing corporate reputation.
It should be no surprise that CSAT (consumer satisfaction) can make or break your corporate reputation. If your service is excellent, your consumers will be more likely to leave glowing reviews and speak positively of your business. You will also get more repeat customers based solely on positive reviews.
An easy way to track your reviews regardless of the source is by using a media monitoring tool like Determ. You can set up your brand name on tracking and get all your online mentions in one dashboard. In this way you can track what people are saying about you easily, receive alerts if your brand name is mentioned more than usually, and react when it’s necessary.
Both financial results and corporate reputation are interconnected. Excellent corporate reputation indicates a company that is growing financially and vice versa.
Internal and external stakeholders’ perception of your financial outcomes is critical in creating your corporate reputation. When they perceive you as financially stable, they won’t hesitate to make investments in whatever form in your brand.
Moreover, your financial results also indicate the quality of service and products your business provides. Financial performance may not be the most impactful driver of reputation, but it does play a significant role in managing your brand’s reputation.
Some of the most successful corporations in the world, including Google, Alphabet, and Tesla, inspire trust and confidence in consumers who believe that any interaction with these companies will entail top-tier service.
Marketing is a crucial element of every corporate management strategy. A key component of customer acquisition, marketing consists of generating content to solve problems for your target audience and running campaigns to generate leads and conversions. Thanks to marketing, you can portray your brand in a positive light.
A good marketing strategy may be the most effective tool for corporate reputation management. After all, the more you portray your brand in a good light, the more people will perceive you in a good way.
A growing body of evidence confirms that treating employees well is the key to a positive corporate reputation. People, including your employees, talk. If you treat them badly, word will come out. If you treat them well, word will also come out. So, if you want to maintain and strengthen your reputation, it will be essential to keep your employees happy.
Moreover, employees who are satisfied with your company and enjoy their work will be motivated to improve the quality of their work and productivity. How employees feel about your company can also influence how customers feel about your business.
Tips to Improve Corporate Reputation
Now that we’ve established key factors responsible for influencing corporate reputation, let’s discuss a few quick tips that you can implement today to boost your corporate reputation.
Boost Value and Quality of Service
As you already know, satisfied customers are more likely to leave positive reviews and spread the word among friends and families. This also ties into customer acquisition because if your existing customers are satisfied with you, they can help attract new customers.
So, always be sensitive to what your customers want. Check social media and forums to determine customer reception to a new product, or reviews about existing products. Take note of possible complaints and answer them immediately. Make changes to your product if warranted based on customer feedback.
Companies that offer good customer assistance tend to have higher ratings on Google, more positive reviews on Facebook and Yelp, and higher retention rates. To provide great customer service:
- Create a customer care team. Give each member a digital business card they can send to the customers they talk to. Customers will appreciate the personalized approach.
- Train your staff on how they can help customers.
- Ensure you have a process for handling complaints and issues.
Your customer support team can communicate with your clients using email, live chat, social media, and phone. Nestle, for example, gives its consumers as many modes to reach them as possible.
Make sure your consumers can reach you, though. So, when they call or send you a social media message, someone should answer immediately. You should also have the best web hosting to ensure your customers can easily access your website and know the many ways they can reach you in the first place.
Improve the quality of service you provide
For instance, if you’re a content marketing company, use project management software such as Asana and Trello to ensure you meet client’s deadlines and demands. For example, Redis is database software used by Trello to help the platform complete millions of requests per second. This makes it easier to meet demanding client needs.
There are project management tools made specifically for industries you can leverage, too. Personal injury lawyers, for instance, can use personal injury practice management software to improve their efficiency and better serve clients.
Maintain Employee Satisfaction
We’ve seen that there is a direct correlation between employee satisfaction and corporate reputation. So, if you want a good corporate reputation, maintain employee satisfaction. Besides, and more importantly, ensuring employee satisfaction is just the right thing to do.
There are steps you can take to improve employee satisfaction:
- Provide employees with tasks that align with their values
- Provide employers with job security so they can see a better future with your organization
- Create a competitive compensation package with benefits
- Create more opportunities for career advancement
Microsoft, for example, has its Microsoft Aspire program, which helps employees improve their skills as their career progresses.
Because of these types and programs and other benefits, Microsoft always figures in Glassdoor’s list of best places to work in:
In short, always make sure your employees feel appreciated and valued.
Increase Philanthropic Efforts
Companies that spend more on philanthropic efforts have better reputations. They also maximize your opportunities to connect the brand with positive social initiatives. Data shows that customers spend more on brands that support their favorite causes. Philanthropy also boosts employee engagement and helps foster deeper connections with employees.
To improve your corporate reputation, consider donating funds to no profits under your company’s name from an official account to ensure that your brand is directly connected with philanthropic efforts.
You can also involve your employees directly. Check out this example of Lyft employees planting a tree in a preserve in Palo Alto, CA, as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility efforts:
Offer volunteer time off (VTO) to employees so they can invest their time in philanthropic efforts. Having a VTO policy shows employees that you value social responsibility and will also go a long way in attracting top talent.
Finally, you can also offer some of your services free of charge to organizations that need it. It’s a great way to generate awareness about causes you care about and also highlights your own contributions to key stakeholders.
Corporate reputation is key to business success. If you have a good corporate reputation, you can maximize brand visibility, achieve growth, and increase revenue.
You learned the factors that affect corporate reputation—consumer satisfaction, financial results, marketing, and employee treatment. You also learned ways to improve corporate reputation–boost the value and quality of your service, maintain employee satisfaction, and increase philanthropic efforts.
Bottom line, stick to your brand values and always do the right thing. Rest assured consumers and other stakeholders will take notice and appreciate you for it.
Matt Diggity is a search engine optimization expert and the founder and CEO of Diggity Marketing, The Search Initiative, Authority Builders, and LeadSpring LLC. He is also the host of the Chiang Mai SEO Conference.