I’ve been on a few visits to schools and businesses recently and I also read a fantastic article about customer service. We all know that it takes a long time to build a credible reputation but it can take seconds for it to be torn to shreds. So, are you doing all you can to build and foster your reputation?
Opinions can linger forever – via colleagues over the water cooler, family and friends eager to learn more about your job, or from complete strangers who can make or break the future of your company and undo all your hard work.
I’m very much an attention to detail person. I care about the small stuff. I notice the little things. I think about the conversations I’ve had that day – did I come off as unfriendly? Did I say something which could be taken out of context once passed around? All businesses rely on word of mouth but it has to be positive and constructive. Otherwise, you won’t survive. Your company will falter and your reputation will be under the spotlight. So, what can you do?
I like to think of reputations like sandcastles. At first, they are unsteady and can be subject to any element of the weather but if you pay attention to your reputation, nurture it, and fortify it, you can grow strong. But beware, of course, that a person can come along and kick your sandcastle down. Destroyed in a second, with no thought to how lovingly you built it in the first place.
So, think about the conversations you’re having, the people you’re meeting, and their first impressions of you. How do you come across? Do you appear dismissive or uncaring? Or, do you light up the room, listen to people, and care about what they’re actually saying?
Conversations and connections are at the heart of business – you never know who you will be introduced to in the future but you can be sure they’ll remember you if didn’t seem to care about them in the past.