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Business image

A business' image is a precious, almost delicate entity. Like a relationship between two people in the early days, a good impression is hard to build up but easy to lose. One misplaced word or two, a broken promise, turning up late or a million other things can blow away all of the hard work and leave your reputation in tatters.

Firms in the UK collectively spend billions of pounds on marketing and advertising and trying to build up a brand, but it can only take one rude experience with a member of staff on the phone, or a product not turning up on time for all this money to be wasted and the customer to never do business with you again.

It it only takes a small issue for a customer - whose loyalty is not as strong as was the case in the past - to go with a different firm, so the car company Toyota are in serious trouble.

Several Toyota models have experienced serious problems with their brakes, which have led to some truly tragic circumstances. The company is reportedly on the brink of recalling 170,000 of its latest Prius model in Japan for an upgrade to the braking software.

A similar move is afoot in the United States, where the recall of 100,000 Priuses is expected later this week. Around 30,000 other Priuses are expected to be recalled in about 60 countries around the world.

The Toyota example is of course an extreme one, but the point remains that a firm's reputation is one of its most important assets. And once a bad reputation is earned - whether fairly or not - it can take years of hard wok to, if ever, turn around the public's perception.

All small firms would be advised to ensure that their staff are trained in customer service and that the business delivers all of its products and services as promised.

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Post Date: February 8th, 2010