Entrepreneurs work on their reputation until it is established, when it is established, it works for them.
Opening Case Study:
Goodwill Established: Jyoti Naik
Everyone enjoys ‘rags to riches’ stories and everyone likes tales of stupendous success achieved through sheer determination. The story of Jyoti Naik, President, Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad is all that and much more. Today, Lijjat is more than just a household name for ‘papad’ (India’s most popular crispy bread). Started with a modest loan of Rs 80, the cooperative now has annual sales exceeding Rs 301 crore (Rs 3.1 billion). What’s more stunning than its stupendous success is its striking simplicity. And perhaps that is the most interesting lesson managers can pick up from Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad. Sticking to its core values for the past forty years, Jyoti Naik has ensured that every process runs smoothly, members earn a comfortable profit, agents get their due share, consumers get the assurance of quality at a good price, and society benefits from its donations to various causes. How has all this been possible? Its story shows how an organisation can infuse Gandhian simplicity in all its activities. Here we look at its distribution cycle. Every morning a group of women goes to the Lijjat branch to knead dough, which is then collected by other women who roll it into papads. When these women come in to collect the dough, they also give in the previous day’s production, which is tested for quality. Yet another team packs the tested papads. Every member gets her share of vanai (rolling charge) every day for the work she does and this is possible only because the rest of the system is geared to support it.
The goodwill of a business is essential to its survival. The trust and confidence of the consumer can have a direct and profound effect on a company’s bottom line. Recently, the importance of reputation has become increasingly apparent. In the past, businesses relied on word of mouth by their stakeholders in order to establish, build and maintain their goodwill. In this modern age of social networking, websites, and other methods of instant communication, businesses must be conscientious of their goodwill on a constant basis and be responsive to any crisis that may have an impact on their goodwill.
Although an intangible concept, having a great goodwill can benefit a business in a multitude of ways including: higher consumer preference; support for an organization in times of crisis or controversy; and increase the future value of an organization in the marketplace. If an organization has established goodwill in the marketplace, consumers may have a preference for that company even if there are similar businesses offering the same products or services for different prices. The goodwill of an organization can enable a company to differentiate its product in highly competitive markets, allow it to have premium pricing, and can become the ultimate factor in whether a customer decides to patronize one business over another.
If you build up and keep a good reputation everyone will be flocking to your door, and in times when competition is fierce and many skills are in short supply, that can make the difference between your firms’ survival or its untimely demise.
Executives know the importance of their companies’ reputations. Firms with strong positive reputations attract better people. They are perceived as providing more value, which often allows them to charge a premium. Their customers are more loyal and buy broader ranges of products and services. Because the market believes that such companies will deliver sustained earnings and future growth, they have higher price-earnings multiples and market values and lower costs of capital. Moreover, in an economy where 70% to 80% of market value comes from hard-to-assess intangible assets such as brand equity, intellectual capital, and reputation, organizations are especially vulnerable to anything that damages their goodwill.
10 GUIDELINES TO CREAT GOODWILL WITHIN MARKET
It’s incredible to believe what being nice to your customer can get you in your venture. It’s even more astounding what it will do to your brand and your business. Building upon goodwill and loyalty with your customer base should be a key area you focus on as an entrepreneur. When you take efforts to build upon goodwill for your audience they will crown you with loyalty and love. The tag line for goodwill is: ‘Treat people right and they will treat your brand right.’
Here is a list of ten guidelines that you can follow to establish goodwill with your market. Striving to work for your goodwill will pay you rich dividends in your venture.
#1: Aim for Customer Delight
Providing goods or services that meet the expectations of customer and give them satisfaction is a passed out trend. The current marketing trend calls for customer delight. Take the example of hotel industry. Providing free wallet parking can not only help in brand building in the initial phase but also show that you care for the comfort of your customer. People love little acts of care and when you can surprise a customer with something cool and unexpected they’ll talk about your brand for sure. The cost incurred due to providing these services is worth the trouble. You’ll end up making more money, generate strong word of mouth, and keep customers longer if you aim for customer delight.
#2: Walk the Talk
The word “transparent dealing” is the buzzword these days. You should look forward to build a brand that is completely open and transparent. If you fail to be honest and real with your audience, you are likely to step near to disaster. Keeping hidden costs, advertising falsely or trying to mislead the customers can completely damage your bond with them. They know you’re human and they’ll respect you a thousand times more for being upfront and real with them.
Don’t ever try to hide something or trick people. This is the kind of stuff that gives marketers a bad name and it makes you a first class douche-bag. Make sure everything you do and offer is crystal clear. You’ll do more business that way.
#3: Step the Extra Mile
The customer may not always be right. But valuing their opinion makes them feel important. Being open to receive feedback from them gives them a position of significance. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an email, blog post, video, product, or whatever, try to thank them for availing your service or buying your product and ask if they were happy with it. It’s incredibly important to make sure they’re happy they came in contact with you. If you win the loyalty of a customer he will come time and again to you and promote your venture through mouth of word.
#4: Be Consistent
Being consistent is the key when it comes to your building your brand or your business, as an entrepreneur. Customers don’t look forward for ventures that are here-today-gone-tomorrow. They want to know they can depend and rely on you. For a customer to become a fan of yours or your business you must let them know they can always count on you to deliver. Consistency builds confidence with consumers. Be sure to focus on being consistent and reliable.
#5: Deliver more than you promise
The art of marketing demands to deliver first. A strong brand is built on trust. No one wants to be pitched over and over again. No one will trust a brand that offers little content while throwing a pitch down their throat. I’m not saying you can’t pitch, by all means do. You’ll have to if you want to survive and thrive. But there has to be a balance. Follow the 80:20 rule. Promise 20 percent deliver 80percent. The golden rule is to under-promise and over-deliver.
#6: Build on a Relationship with Your Audience
Everything that you do about your business affects branding. Every interaction you have with your target audience either surges or dips your relation value with them. The more value you provide for your audience the stronger the relationship will be. You can’t build a sustainable brand without genuinely caring about your audience. Be aware that every email you send, every blog post, every Facebook or Twitter comment should add value to your audience. Care about them. It matters.
#7: Practice Corporate Social Responsibility
Without a doubt, giving to charity is a good marketing strategy. And there’s no harm associated with it. If your heart calls for charity and you are capable of giving back to the society then it’s your obligation. You must have come across product promotions that mention a certain percentage is going to X charity. This is a win-win situation.
The customer wins as they get the product/service they want and they can feel good about themselves for helping someone in need. The charity wins because they are getting donations and attention they wouldn’t have had otherwise. And you win because it’s showing the community that you care. And when you can involve your customers in giving back you’ll build a strong relationship with them.
#8: Price your Product Right
Don’t end up entering the price-war with competitors and providing unrealistic offers. People believe in getting value for their money. Pricing your product right means you do not try to under-price or over-price. Meeting the expectations of the customers is possible when they get value for what has been priced. If you follow this golden rule you will develop a customer-base who keep coming back because they know you’ll treat them right and meet their value expectations.
#9: Spend Time on Your Target Audience
Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of believing that whole world is their prospective customer. Defining the target audience is essential so that you don’t make the mistake of focusing your time and energy on people who aren’t your area of concern. Un-focused, blanket marketing is a recipe for disaster. Focus on your prospects and focus on the people who can become prospects
The more time and energy you spend communicating with people who don’t fit your target market, the more you alienate the ones you really want. For example, authors ignore every positive comment on Amazon.com about their book. And then turn around and respond to all the negative comments offering them some time on the phone. This is a grave mistake. Spending time on target audience makes sense.
#10: Follow Up Post Purchase
What do you do when after someone purchases your product or service makes a huge difference. You may not be taking a follow up post purchase, but you should! Your product may be amazing but that doesn’t mean your customer will know how to properly use it or get the most out of it. A simple follow up phone call or email can go a long way towards strengthening the relationship with your customers.
Once someone makes a purchase they are a more likely to buy from you again. Don’t be ‘one and done’ when it comes to sales. You’re trying to build a stable business and you do that with repeat customers. Take care of them and help them get the most out of what you have to offer.
As you can see, it’s not hard to build goodwill with your market. Step back from your business and make a list of all the ways you will be building goodwill with your audience.