These days there are more options than ever for customers of manufacturers. In order to bring in new customers, you have to make your shop stand out. Of course, you can improve your percentage of jobs delivered on time and lower your percentage of rework, but customers are looking for something a little more personal. Customers are looking for a shop that’s like them. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a way to show them that your shop is similar.
What is Corporate Social Responsibility?
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is, according to Thomas Net, “a management concept and business approach in which companies integrate social, environmental, and economic concerns into their values, culture, and decision-making process.” In short, CSR is when a business looks at the world around them and actively works to improve it. Having CSR not only helps others in the world, but it can also help your shop.
Why Should Your Shop Have Corporate Social Responsibility?
Having CSR can make your shop more appealing to customers. According to a study published by Cone Communications, 63% of American consumers were looking to businesses to take the lead on social and environmental change. 87% of consumers said they would be willing to buy a product or service based on a company’s advocacy concerning a social matter. From these statistics, you can see that it’s important for consumers to give their business to shops that follow their values.
However, you have to be sure that whatever value your shop endorses is important to your shop. For example, if your shop wants to champion education and start offering scholarships to local students, you need to be sure that it is something your shop truly wants to do. Customers can tell when a company is using CSR just for good press, and they will not appreciate it.
How Can Your Shop Practice Corporate Social Responsibility?
One of the most popular methods for implementing CSR is called the Pyramid of Social Corporate Responsibility. Using this pyramid, companies are able to balance their needs as a company with their aspirations to have an impact on the world around them. The levels of the pyramid are economic, legal, ethical, and philanthropic.
First and foremost, a company must be profitable. If a company isn’t able to support itself, then it can’t help anyone else. Any company looking to have CSR has to have a strong foundation to build on.
Once a business is profitable, it must also be sure that it’s following all applicable laws. Just like with the economic level of the pyramid, if a company is not legally able to operate, then it cannot help anyone else. These legal requirements can include employment and competition, as well as health and safety laws.
Once a business has its economic and legal layers in place, it can begin to determine its ethical responsibilities. This means that a company will actively try to do the right thing. For example, many shops sell their scrap metal to scrap companies who eventually turn this material into new metal. This makes good business sense, but it’s also reusing materials instead of just throwing them away, which customers appreciate.
At this level, companies will actively give back to things that may not directly impact them. For example, if a natural disaster happens across the world, a company might donate some of its profits to aid in the relief. Donating may not have any direct benefit to the business, but they chose to do it anyway. A company that’s able to make it to the fourth layer of this pyramid has CSR.
Your shop may be doing things from the ethical and philanthropic layers of the pyramid already. Particularly if you’ve read our article 4 Things Millennials Wish Your Shop Would Do, you already know how giving back can enrich your shop and attract more employees and customers. Maintaining a good reputation for your shop makes it a better place to work and do business. In short, helping the world can help your shop.
Interested in other ways to improve your shop?