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Reputation Is Everything

Please be aware that this entry is over two years old. Therefore, it may contain broken links, outdated information, or views and content which are no longer completely valid.

The “Weekly Rant” column was featured in the PC Mechanic Newsletter since 2005. Topics relate to some aspect of technology, which include opinions on hardware, software, new technology, technology companies, and computing standards.

I remember talking to an accountant I knew a few years back (no, his profession had nothing to do with our relationship as most people would assume), and he mentioned one day about company reputations.  Basically, when you start a company, you have no reputation.  Once you’re around for a little while and people get to know you, you start to build a bit of a reputation.  Then as your business grows, so does that reputation, if you manage to keep it that way.

I suppose a reputation is tangibly equivalent to a credit rating.  If you keep a good reputation, it sticks with you.  But as soon as you slip up, forget it…that reputation, like a good credit rating, is gone forever.

So, pay your bills, repay your debts, offer good, friendly service, be supportive when things go wrong, offer good advice…all the good qualities that would make up a best friend would pretty much make up what the ideal company to work with sounds like.

On the other hand, if you’re late with everything, you don’t deliver, are generally rude and unhelpful…chances are good that your company (or friendship) won’t do well.

Take a look at some of the companies (or friends) you interact with.  Why do you like them?  Why do you hate them?  Do they have a reputation for being friendly, or generally pompous and unhelpful?  Do you see yourself continuing the relationship with a bad reputation?

Dell has remarkably improved their service after their reputation for tech support started falling for the past several years.  Newegg has always had a good reputation for just about every aspect of buying hardware and accessories (although paying shipping is, and will always be a pain no matter where you go).  TigerDirect has had flaky support, and that reputation will probably stick with them for a long time.  Asus has the reputation for building quality motherboards.

Reputation is everything.  It gives new customers an idea of what to expect, so it’s important to uphold the reputation you wish to present.  Getting back to credit ratings, poor ratings don’t get you much, but good ones open doors.

(Originally published in the pcmech.com newsletter)