As Warren Buffett is famous for saying, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
In that context, your company’s brand is a massive liability. It is incredibly difficult to build up its reputation, and in the world of 24/7 internet reviews and viral sensations, it can only take one misstep to completely destroy it.
If you want to protect your company’s reputation, and prove that you’re a reliable provider to both current and future customers, you need to utilize these four strategic tools.
1. Facebook and Twitter Customer Contact
When a customer has an issue, they’re going to tell friends and family. In fact, a recent study found that customers are 95% likely to share a poor experience with others. Only 85% of those surveyed could recall telling someone about a positive experience with a brand or service. In the world of smartphones, tablets and computers, that sharing is happening via social media.Advertising
Your company needs a proactive social media policy that accomplishes the following:
- Identify positive and negative brand mentions and interactions online.
- Establish contact with dissatisfied customers, and thank satisfied customers for the mention.
- Publicly invite dissatisfied customers to make immediate, personal contact with a team member that can resolve their issue.
- Create content that positively highlights the brand’s USP’s.
2. Proactively Monitor Service Reliability
If you want to identify a hero at creating reliable customer solutions, look at Apple. The Cupertino firm leads the traditional PC manufacturers by double digits in customer satisfaction and component reliability according to Consumer Reports. This is a big part of why Apple is sitting on more cash than the US Government has on hand.
Depending on the type of company you operate, and the services you offer your customers, your needs for monitoring your reliability in real-time will change slightly. Here are a few tools to consider implementing:
- Database Management and Monitoring Software
- Independent contractors must be utilized to reliably survey customer satisfaction.
- Hire mystery shoppers to test your systems and product experience.
- Actively monitor customer engagement; repeat orders, average basket size, etc.
3. Perform Background Checks on Business Partners and Outside Vendors
When your company expands and scales, you’ll inevitably end up working with outside vendors to supplement your existing offering. As you bring on partners, carefully perform background checks to thoroughly vet potential relationships. Creating a partnership with a company that drops the ball will directly impact your company’s reputation.Advertising
For example, Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and many other cellular service providers utilize a company called Asurion to administer their hardware insurance services. I can tell you from first-hand experience, working with them to fix or replace a broken phone is a nightmare. I have switched to an alternate provider on more than one occasion due to their failure to provide quick and reasonable service.
Don’t let your company fall into the trap of outsourcing to shoddy vendors. Your customers will punish you for it. It could be the thing that keeps your business from becoming an iconic brand. One of the most iconic brands, the world over, is Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Media. The vast majority of their business revolves around licensing arrangements, which resulted from the reputation of the brand.
As a recent article points out, “Virgin’s popularity as a brand in the eighties far outstripped its market size and it achieved this simply by challenging everything that our well-established long-haul airline market was built on, publically upsetting the applecart in the process. It has stood by these values ever since and people continue to love the brand for flying in the face of the establishment.”
Becoming an iconic brand requires strong partnerships with reliable 3rd parties, especially if you’re looking to “upset the applecart”.Advertising
4. Utilize Strong Security Software and Policies
Customer data breaches are becoming increasingly common. In 2015 alone there were 781 individually reported data breaches of customer data at a corporate level. This means hackers are able to penetrate a corporation’s firewall and access credit card information, billing addresses, names and potentially social security numbers of customers that utilize a product or service.
According to some reports, the average data breach causes at least $3.79 million dollars in damage to the companies that fall victim to these attacks. These damages take the form of lost sales, higher operating costs and customer losses due to the attacks. Don’t leave your company vulnerable to this kind of loss.
To protect yourself and your company, there are some basic protocols that can be followed:
- Limit personal devices connected to corporate infrastructure.
- Mandate randomized passwords that are changed monthly on all systems.
- Encrypt corporate data before transmitting.
- Aggressively limit employee access to internal data.
- Insure that terminated employees lose access prior to termination.
- Use robust hosting with powerful hardware, software and 24/7 support.
- Educate employees on common tactics used by hackers to gain entry through phishing scams and other illegitimate means.
In A Connected World, Reputations Are Lost in A Flash
Your company and your personal reputation are incredibly important to your ability to conduct future business. Don’t let software snags, hackers, or unreliable vendors cause unnecessary damage to your brand’s reputation for providing a reliable service. You have the power to protect your company, and the four steps mentioned above offer an excellent starting point.Advertising
Are you prepared to do what it takes to provide excellent service and protect your company’s reputation?
Featured photo credit: Cydcor via flickr.com
Last Updated on March 31, 2020
How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively
Knowledge is essential to become successful in life, your career and your business. Without learning new concepts and becoming proficient in our craft, we cannot excel in our chosen careers or archive knowledge to pass down to the next generation.
But content comes in various forms, and because how we learn influences how much we know, we need to talk about learning styles. This article will focus on how to utilize visual learning to boost your career or business.
Table of Contents
The Importance of Knowing Your Learning Style
Knowing your learning style enables you to process new information to the best of your ability. Not only does it reduce your learning curve, you’re able to communicate these same concepts to others effectively.
But it all starts when you’re able to first identify the best way you learn.
As a college student, I soon figured out that taking online courses without visual aids or having an instructor in front of me led to poor retention of concepts.
Sure, I got good grades and performed excellently in my online exams. However. I discovered that I couldn’t maintain this performance level because I forgot 80 percent of the course content by the end of the semester.
There are several types of learning styles known to mankind. To give an idea of how visual learning stacks up against other learning styles, here’s a brief mention of some of the different types of learning styles we have.
The four most popular types of learning styles are:
- Visual learning style (what this article talks about).
- Aural or auditory learning style (learning by listening to information presented).
- Verbal or linguistic learning style (learning that involves speech and writing).
- Tactile learning style (learning by touching and doing)
But for the purposes of this article, we will be focusing on using visual learning to boost your career or business.
How to Know If You’re a Visual Learner?
When it comes to boosting your career, business (or education), a visual learner is one who would most definitely choose shapes, images, symbols, or reading over auditory messages.
I’m talking about preferring to read an actual map when navigating to a new place over listening to verbal directions. I’m talking about discovering that you actually have trouble remembering what your manager said at the meeting because there were no graphs or illustrations to support the points raised.
Most people who struggle with learning probably aren’t leveraging their best learning styles. The earlier you identify how your learning style can boost your success, the less struggle you will encounter with processing new information throughout your career.
However, visual learning in particular CAN 10x your career or business whether it is your preferred learning style or not. And here’s why:
Several studies have arrived at the conclusion that the brain retains more information with the help of visual aids. In other words, images are directly processed by our long-term memory which helps us store information for longer periods of time.
While some lessons can be performed orally, several concepts can only make sense if you have an image with an explanation of sequences (i.e learning about the human DNA).
Visual learning does use a different part of the brain and visual cues are processed by the part of the brain known as the occipital lobe.
By engaging more parts of the brain during learning, you’re able to have a fuller understanding of concepts and facilitate better interaction with your immediate environment.
How to Use Visual Learning for Success
Here’re 4 ways to use visual learning to boost your career or business:
1. Bring back the to-do list. Then add shapes and colors to boost productivity.
We live in an age where computers have taken over virtually every aspect of productivity and most human functions. But written lists are making a comeback, and with an endless number of important tasks to complete, having a to-do list of tasks in order of importance can improve your productivity.
While coming up with a list is initially challenging, adding colors and shapes to written lists that you personally write and manage gives you an extra layer of assurance and boosts aids recall so that you actually get stuff done.
I have tried this technique in my work as a registered nurse and discovered that adding shapes and colors to to-do lists helps me delegate tasks, recognize where more work is needed, and makes it easy to cross off completed tasks at the end of the day.
2. Add graphs, charts and symbols to your reports.
Yes, it seems like more work cut out for you. However, graphs enable you monitor the heartbeat of your business.
Graphs and charts help you trend your finances, budget, and pretty much any data overtime. With the help of free and premium software available on the market, it has become easier to take plain data and in a matter of seconds, have relevant information displayed in different shapes and images.
As an entrepreneur, you can make predictions and allocate funds wisely when you’re able to see whether your efforts are rewarded. You can use colors and charts to delegate actions to members of your team and track performance at the same time.
And when broken down into monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or annual goals, graphs and charts communicate what ordinary text cannot.
3. Effectively brainstorm with mind-mapping.
Mind-mapping is not new but I don’t think it’s been talked about as often as we do to-do lists.
With mind mapping, you’re organizing information accurately and drawing relationships between concepts and pieces from a whole.
Think of a mind map as a tree with several branches. For example, the tree can symbolize healthcare while each branch stands for nursing, medicine, laboratory science, and so on. When you look at nursing, you can further branch out into types of nursing; pediatric, women’s health, critical care, and so on.
It’s an interesting relationship; the more ideas you’re able to come up with for your chosen subject, the deeper you get and the stronger the association.
Mind maps really show you relationships between subjects and topics, and simplifies processes that might seem complicated at first glance. In a way, it is like a graphical representation of facts presented in a simple, visual format.
Mind mapping isn’t only limited to career professionals; business owners can benefit from mind mapping by organizing their online learning activities and breaking down complex tasks into simple actions so that you can accurately measure productivity.
4. Add video streaming to meetings.
What if you could double the productivity of your team members by video streaming your meetings or adding flash animation to your presentation at the same time?
When you offer video as an alternative method of processing information to colleagues, there is a greater chance of retaining information because we recreate these stories into images in our minds.
For organizations that hold virtual meetings, it can also be an effective way to enhance performance during if people can see their colleagues in addition to flash animation or whatever form of video is provided during the meeting.
Is Visual Learning Better Than Other Learning Styles?
No, that is not the point. The goal here is to supplement your existing dominant learning style with visual learning so that you can experience a significant boost in how you process and use everyday information.
You might discover that understanding scientific concepts are much easier after incorporating visual learning or that you’re able to understand your organization’s value when projected on a visual screen with charts and graphs.
The overall goal is to always be learning and to continue to leverage visual learning style in your career and business.
More About Learning Styles
- 6 Common Types of Learners (With Learning Hacks for Each)
- How to Connect Different Learning Styles with Career for Great Success
- How to Know Which Types of Learning Styles Work for You?
Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com
|||^||eLearning Industry: Visual Learning: 6 reasons why visuals are the most powerful aspect of learning.|