Running a business is no easy endeavour, especially when everything you do is open to public scrutiny. Some companies rarely interact with the general public whilst others, by the very nature of their business, engage with consumers or peers on a daily basis. From retail shops to accountancies, everything you do in public can, and will, affect your brand.
Perhaps it’s time that UK companies begin having training sessions and workshops to explain this phenomenon to staff, from members of the board all the way down to hourly, temporary workers. If you can be associated with a brand, what you do will most certainly affect your company’s image.
A Recent Survey Shows How Rude Behaviour Impacts a Business
Many companies spend a lot of money on PR because they know just how important image is to their brand. Public Relations firms seek to build image in the community for companies that have been the target of a smear campaign or simply as a way to build a positive image in a highly competitive world.
In a recent survey conducted by the Chief Reputation Strategist of Weber Shandwick along with Powell Tate, it was found that as many as 70 percent of respondents feel that businesses lack civility. Bad behaviour does impact their decision whether to do further business with those companies and almost half of those responding found that they were affected by the bad behaviour of a clerk when shopping. At least half again as many said they will not shop there again.
Let’s Look at Those Numbers
The survey mentioned above polled 1,000 consumers. If half that many were affected by bad behaviour in a company then that means that 500 people noticed a lack of civility when interacting with a company. Going one step further, half that number vowed never to shop or interact with that brand again which means that 25% are now looking for new brands who are courteous and understand proper behaviour.
Can any company afford to lose one-quarter of its business due to the bad behaviour of employees? Probably not! You would continually be paying a PR firm to counteract negative publicity because those disenchanted consumers also said they went out of their way to share by word of mouth and on social media the bad experience they had. That’s a lot of bad press that could be avoided if people just knew how to conduct themselves in public.
Beyond the Four Walls of Your Shop
Perhaps more companies should have periodic training sessions whereby they explain how everything a worker does whilst ‘on the clock’ impacts a business. Even delivery drivers are associated with a company’s brand and rude behaviour on the roadways can also reflect negatively on brand. Learner drivers should check this site out to find all the rules of driving etiquette so that they are prepared to take their written test and ultimately share the road with other drivers.
It is imperative that anyone associated with a brand learn to observe the Highway Code, both for their written theory test as well as when driving a company vehicle. Behaviour extends beyond the four walls of your business so make this a focus in the coming months.
Getting Back to Our Roots
It’s really too bad that all the training an employee gets seems to go out the window once orientation is complete or once they have that driving licence in hand. By periodically holding training sessions or recommending where to find the Highway Code online, you can mitigate much of that bad press that can cost your business dearly. Brits once prided themselves on being the most civil nation on earth.
It’s time to get back to our roots and be, once again, that civilised nation the world looks up to. In the process, you’ll be building a reputation that money just can’t buy.by