When it comes to business reputation, the little things which we think do not matter actually do mean a lot. I was discussing with some people and we began arguing about the best bank in Nigeria; each person was trying to project the reason why the bank he uses is the best bank in Nigeria. Then I noticed that no one had mentioned anything about a particular bank that has been operating in Nigeria for several years. I wouldn’t want to mention the name of the bank in this article but as soon as I mentioned the name of the bank, everyone burst out laughing and they were like

Why would anyone use that bank anyway?

Then I replied saying “Why wouldn’t anyone want to use that bank, it’s a strong and reliable bank, it’s been in existence for decades now” Then they replied saying “Because their staffs are always unfriendly and poorly dressed”

Who would have thought that a simple absence of proper dress code and customer service policy would be costing such a big bank a lot of revenue? It’s not that I didn’t know that the bank was lacking in that aspect before I asked the question (and that’s not the first time I heard such comments passed about the bank), I just wanted to confirm how important little things are to customers. Every customer wants to identify with the best brands. They wouldn’t even mind launching their own free personal marketing campaign and spreading the good news about the business to their friends and family if they are convinced and satisfied with the company’s services.

I remember that I opened an account with a certain bank just because everyone in my family was gushing about how superb and fast their services are and I have also unconsciously avoided visiting a certain restaurant for several years now just because I have heard too many tales about people being served decayed snacks and finding all sorts of inedible things in their meals. Now, I haven’t had a personal experience with the restaurant, but I am not willing to be a victim so I just stay away.

That is how business reputation works. Most times, people rely on the opinions and reviews of your past customers and the public perception of your business and then they use it to judge you. And just like bad news spreads fast, bad business reputation spreads faster. If you want to ruin your business reputation very fast, these are 10 things you should do-:

10 Ways to Destroy Your Business Reputation Fast

1. Employ bad customer service representatives-: Your customer service representatives are the image makers of your business. They are your first line of contact and defense so they have to be friendly, pleasant, well dressed and helpful. But if you want to destroy your company’s reputation quickly, employ some very rude ones who would talk rudely to customers and give them the “it’s not my personal business so I don’t care” kind of attitude.

You should also employ customer service representatives that are not trained and naturally unpleasant and please, let your staff come to work in their night wears if they so wish after all, you are not running a fashion show so why should what they wear matter?

2. Engage in false advertising-: In your bid to outshine your competitors and win over as many customers to your side as you possibly can, lie to your customers and make promises that you cannot keep. Tell them that you can help them reduce their taxes by 90% when you do not possess the knowledge and skills to help them reduce it by 10%. Tell them that the product you are selling would help them grow their hair 6 inches longer in 10 days when it’s not even going to grow the hair to that length in 10 years. Or better still, you can offer a fake promotion, after all, they won’t find out, would they?

3. Discuss politics-: You really serious about destroying your company’s reputation? Okay then, openly express your bias towards a political party or a certain political candidate and watch customers who do not share the same view boycott your business.

4. Please don’t keep to deadlines-: If you want to lose your business reputation fast, you should avoid meeting deadlines especially if your business is time sensitive. If you are a contractor who promised to complete a job in three months, ensure that you do not complete it even after six months.

5. Make sure your employees are unhappy-: Look, your employees are not your customers so it doesn’t matter if they are happy with their jobs or not as long as the money keeps rolling in. Just make sure you don’t feel bad when your employees launch an image smearing campaign against your business or when they conduct their duties so badly that they cause you to lose customers.

6. Bombard them with junk mails-: Yes, your customers have subscribed for newsletters and e-mail updates and in your bid to destroy your company reputation fast; so send as many unsolicited, unhelpful messages as you can. Ensure that the messages are poorly written with bad grammar and do not offer any useful information whatsoever.

7. Always delay in fixing customers challenges-: If your customer calls to complain about something, you don’t necessarily have to fix it immediately. Fix the problem only after the customer has called at least three times to remind you of your promise to fix that problem.

8. Don’t improve-: Another very fast way to ruin your business reputation fast is to never improve on your services or methods. The same way you conducted your business in 2001 is good enough for 2014; don’t listen to anyone who tells you otherwise.

9. Don’t use social media-: Smart business owners understand the importance of interacting with their customers on social media. They also understand that social media is one of the fastest ways through which a business can build its reputation but since you are interested in the exact opposite, please refrain from using this tool.

10. And don’t have a business website-: You don’t need a business website either and even if you do, you don’t need to update it with content regularly or make it user friendly; In short, don’t pay attention to your website, ever.

If you are interested in building your business reputation fast, whether online or offline, you only need to do two things;

  • Read from 1-10
  • Don’t do any of these things. Cheers!