If you have a business or work for a business, you rely on a reputation of your persona to stay in business. Your customers are the lifeblood to your existence and you as a company must work very hard to maintain that image. Through public relations, marketing, customer service testimonials, you do it all to come out clean on the other side that you are a great company to do business with. Buy our products, shop at our stores, use our services and we will do you no wrong.
But is that it? If the customers love you can you say you have done a good job promoting and sustaining your image and brand? What are you doing to promote yourself on the back end when it comes to the operational aspects of your business? Can you say the same thing that you are promoting and sustaining your image and brand as strongly as you do to the front end customers and business partners?
“Ah, screw the vendors. They work for us, we are their customer they should be worried about keeping us happy.”
Right? I don’t think so. Your reputation is all encompassing, not confined by tunnel vision to only the customers. To be truly successful you must maintain the image in all directions. It may seem logical that the customers perception is the only law of the land and that is not up for argument. However, it is still vital to be looked at from all points of view that you are a reputable brand. If not, eventually the business progression will begin to deteriorate.
Let’s say that every customer loves you, business has never been better, and the sky’s the limit on where things can go. But you hate your vendors you rely on for services to keep operating that makes the customers love you so much. You make every deal as difficult as possible, you respect nothing, ask for the impossible, and always send the soup back when its 2 degrees off from how you like it. Whether it is paper providers, technical/computer support, software vendors, consultants, etc… The vendors you do business with on the back side, not visible from the loving customers, with such a level of disrespect and aggression the business slows down expansion.
Vendors all know each other at some level and they all talk top each other or employees move around and slowly the business world starts to tag you as a bad company to work with. Perception is reality. That negative reputation begins to spill into the services you require and business’ you try to buy goods and services with. You refuse to be a partner, you can’t look strategically into the future, you don’t like anyone you rate on various level of hate. In turn you don’t get as good of deals, you don’t get flexibilities or extra support on initiatives, you give no incentive for anyone to go out of their way to help you beyond exactly what you need. Indirectly customer facing services and products they love so much begin to wear down. They fail more often, products get stale and old, response times get longer and so on, innovation drops off.
Pretty soon any initiatives that require external partnerships or purchases become non-existent or take forever to complete. Productivity drops. Things begin to crumble. Customers begin to see an effect on the downturn. Surveys show dissatisfaction. Now not only do you have to work to get up to where you are you have the double task to re-earn that love you lost if you didn’t lose the customers altogether.
A business’ reputation is all around, at all levels. If at any point, any business or person says that working with your business is a negative experience is a bad thing. It will slowly and surely balloon into the customer realm. It’s a symbiotic relationship.
You can’t be loved on the front and hated on the back. The two forces will merge at some point.
If you want to maintain your image, do so in all directions.
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Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.