The bigger they are, the harder they fall. In my entry titled Phil or Tiger? I wrote about the reasons that people are loyal to Phil (because we can relate to him) and Tiger (because we admire him). Whoa! OK, because we admired (past tense!) him. Tiger has offered us all a very important lesson about the slippery slope of image. (Note: I am not going to jump on the bandwagon of people judging Tiger. That doesn’t mean I agree with his actions, I simply think that angle has been covered and it’s not the point of this entry.)
Tiger worked very hard to create an image that really worked for him. It worked to the tune of $92 million in endorsements in 2009. That image started with his appearance on the Tonight Show and the Mike Douglas Show. It was built by his 3 consecutive wins in the U.S. Amateur, and grew with each of his 14 major championships. It was years in the making. Yet he destroyed it quickly.
Our images as companies are similar…it takes us a long time to build an image that we can rely on to help grow our businesses, an image that drives customers to us, an image that allows us to attract and hire the best people.
We work very hard to deliver an exceptional experience to our customers every time. We do that to build our image and our relationships. It takes a solid repetition of positive experiences to build that image and only one bad one to damage it.
Every experience you deliver to your customers must be good. Don’t allow yourself to ever get close to that slope of image-damaging disappointments. Tiger did and it was steep and very slippery.