BSI's Scott Steedman: It's vital that businesses engage

Scott Steedman, director of standards at BSI, says businesses need to engage with their consumers, their shareholders and their staff.

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Since the start of the economic meltdown in 2007, the reputation of corporate Britain has taken a bashing. The financial services have borne the brunt of the criticism – but all industries have been affected, from retailers and manufacturers to airlines and energy companies.

Is it possible for businesses to win back consumers’ trust? Should morals and ethics now be at the centre of a company’s business model?

Dr Scott Steedman, director at business standards company BSI, says trust will continue to be chipped away until a business starts delivering on its promises. ‘When a company sells you something - for example, lasagne - and it's not what it says it is, your trust is broken with the company,’ he said during a roundtable discussion on rebuilding trust, recently hosted by MT and BSI .

‘It's about doing what you say you're going to do. People are very sensitive about knowing what they're getting.’

He also warned that companies need to make sure they’re monitoring both internal and external influences on the business.

‘A loss of trust comes because the system breaks down somewhere,’ he said. ‘Either you’ve messed up internally – you aren’t delivering a consistent message to your staff, and you’re not doing what you say you’re going to do. Or something happens externally in your supply chain. But it’s all linked. You’ve got to keep an eye on what’s going on in the inside and the outside.’

This video is the fourth part of a Reputation Week special

Find out more about MT’s Reputation Week in association with BSI.

Read the full discussion with panellists including Andy Street, MD of John Lewis, Giles Andrews, founder and CEO of Zopa, and Baroness Kingsmill.

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