Published On: Tue, Oct 18th, 2016

What Is Corporate Social Responsibility And What Does It Do For You?

We live in a capitalist society. That much can’t be disputed. So much of our culture is dictated by what we buy and sell and just how we do that. Businesses offer more than goods and services to their customers. They’re a core part of our society at large. When something needs to be done, it’s a much safer bet to rely on the private sector than the public. The same goes for social awareness and responsibility. Businesses can do a lot more than individuals. They can do it to the benefits of themselves, too. Here’s how.

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Starting with your customers

You can do a lot of good as a business, but if none of it is directed towards your customers, you won’t be very successful. A big part of succeeding in any industry is to keep customers loyal and happy. This means being ethical in your exchanges with them. Put real effort into providing customer support and being easy to reach. Foster customer loyalty by relying on more community driven branding. Treat them like people, using tools like CRM to keep records of all your past customers. No-one will believe that your business truly has the benefit of the many as its ideal if it can’t be good to its customers.

Be open

Part of getting that good customer relationship is by beginning and continuing with a policy of corporate honesty. When it comes to your ethics and integrity, it’s easy to have them out on display. You can be transparent with your accounting practices and forthright with your taxes. You can promote exactly what you’re going to deliver to your customer without embellishment. You can show just how you resolve not only customer but employment issues in public. You can ensure that both your personal and product integrity are staying as they are. But it’s important you’re also open about the negative changes to your business. If a product or service is unavailable for some reason, be open about it. People don’t like change, but they despise unaccounted changes even more.

Look after your employees

We mentioned how you should show how you settle employment issues transparently. Indeed, how a business looks after ‘its own’ plays a huge role in how the public perceives it. The more disgruntled employees you leave in your wake, the more chances you have to damage your reputation. In the worst cases, you might damage it as far as seeing your business taken to court. On the other hand, looking after your employees has a lot of benefits. It creates a team of dedicated ambassadors who will sing the praises of the business. It helps you fight retention. It shows that your business truly does put people at the heart of its successes.

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Look after your environment

Nowadays, social responsibility has been elevated to a theater a whole step above individuals. It’s not just about people anymore. It’s about the whole human race and the planet we all live in. The zeitgeist has been predominantly focused on the environment for a long time, now. It’s getting harder for businesses and governments alike to ignore the threat of climate change. Harder to ignore deforestation and the destruction of nature. So, if a business can work to prove that it’s dedicated to reducing its own negative impact, it will win itself a lot of followers. There’s even a whole market of green businesses that thrive off of this focus on our impact on the environment. You can set up a green business or just ensure that you’re doing your best to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Clean up your production methods

If you’re in the business of producing physical goods, then there’s even more that you can do to tidy up your own impact. Look into methods of green manufacturing. A lot of the methods that save energy also save money in the long run, for one. But it can have even better financial repercussions in how it affects the branding of your product. The market is proving that lots of customers are willing to spend more on products that demonstrate care toward the environment. So see if you’re able to implement some green manufacturing methods and see the good it could do your brand as a whole.

Get involved in your community

If your business has a distinct geographic location, it’s in your best interest to extend a hand out to the community around you. For one, it’s likely that a lot of your employees will be members of that community. It’s another way of showing loyalty to your people. But a business thrives off the support that it gets from the people around it. The right contacts can be a lot of help down the line. Getting on community boards, whether it’s in business councils, the arts or education can do a lot for your personal prestige, as well. Not only does that help you in the eyes of those who are going to be your consumers. It can better help you network with other like-minded businesses in the area.

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Advocate a cause

Beyond the community itself, there are groups who are dedicated to a cause. Those who are steadfast against illnesses, poverty, lack of equality and all sorts of issues. A business like yours could be exactly the kind of partner that they need. First, allying with a cause gives you a focal point to concentrate your resources. Your ability to volunteer and donate focused on a single goal can do a lot more than being giving in general. It can also get your business an endorsement and publicity that could do a lot to build your brand as a conscientious entity. There are a lot of causes out there that could use your help.

Open education opportunities

One of the causes that will always be of great significance to people is the importance of education. As many will say, our children are our future. But many of them are lacking the education they need to make the most out of that future. The education division remains not only as important and broad as the wealth gap but is a direct cause of it. There are many ways you can help children receive an education. Take a look at Haitham Alaini, for instance. He’s an entrepreneur using the availability of new, inexpensive tech. Tech like the Raspberry Pi that makes it easier for children in his environment to get real skills through cheaper education.

Share your story

If your responsibility as a corporation is truly part of your goal, then one of the best things you can do is share it. Businesses all need to define their brand if they want to truly succeed. For a lot of businesses, this can be something that they offer above their competitors that makes them unique. It might be maintaining an image of prestige or chic that permeates their business. Or it might be a motivation that is the center of their brand. A business that builds watches might put the spotlight on the importance of their craft. You could just as easily put that spotlight on your responsibilities and ideals. If you’re focused on the environment, make that your brand. The story of your brand can be a far more effective tool for communicating your positive nature to consumers than a hundred press releases. You can do good and make a profit if you’re making it the center of your message.

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Use your platform

At the same time, don’t underestimate the impact that your access to publicity can have. If you’re likely to get news coverage on your business, then use that coverage to highlight a cause in your area. Do you have lots of followers on social media? Then use that platform to highlight news and charitable activities that need more publicity. Your platform is just another tool that you can offer those causes which are doing good in the world. It also has the benefit of aligning you with the kind of consumers that share the exact same goals.

The value of social responsibility

We’ve highlighted a lot of ways to show that your business is socially responsible. But we haven’t covered enough just how beneficial it can be to your business. One study has shown that as many as ninety percent of people are willing to boycott a company with unethical practices. Eighty percent say they will buy from a brand that shows strong corporate social responsibility values. Consumers are becoming more and more informed. All thanks to the internet and widespread nature of modern communication. If you’re doing good, people will notice and you’ll benefit. If you’re doing bad, people will notice and you will suffer the consequences. This trend is only set to have even more of an impact in future.

Education, charity, the environment, the general treatment of people. These are all factors of life that businesses can really contribute to. Now, it’s even looking like a profitable tactic. So think about your business and how it can better meet its corporate social responsibility.

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