Establishing and maintaining a solid reputation is one way companies set themselves apart from the competition. Setting up metrics from which to measure and manage a reputation doesn’t have to be complicated.
CFM has found using seven characteristics is sufficient to measure and benchmark how your organization can be benchmarked to other “like” organizations.
The key factors to measure are:
- The company’s overall reputation;
- The quality of products and services;
- Opinions about it as a place to work;
- Perceptions of social responsibility;
- Overall trust;
- Financial stability; and
- Likely to recommend.
We prefer a 10-point scale, but a five-point or seven-point scale is adequate, as long as it provides sufficient information to track change over time.
Keep in mind; opinions will vary by industry group. So measure yourself against the competition: Banks to banks, hospitals to hospitals, universities to universities and so on.
There may be specific stakeholder groups that you want to assess. Those would include, but aren’t limited to: customers; vendors; employees; elected officials; the general community; and, investors.
Combining quantitative and qualitative research will provide metrics and deep understanding. With traditional research, use a telephone survey to establish baselines, and use focus groups or one-on-one interviews to assess why specific ratings were given. Web-based surveys enable you to easily follow-up with targeted groups using online focus groups. People provide more candid comments with Web-based research; so online focus groups may provide more honest insights.
Finally, use the results to make change. If ratings show your organization has a strong reputation, reinforce what you are doing well. For those organizations whose reputations lag, make changes in appropriate areas.
Keep marketing and finance involved. A good reputation should make management and employees proud, boost sales and improve your bottom line.