Corporate social responsibility initiatives can go a long way to helping retain your customers and attracting new leads and custom to your business. There has been a boost in movements that promote CSR in recent years, and it covers a wide range of processes, including environmental concerns, financial, and employee morale. Each has a part to play in how CSR is used to boost brand awareness, including such initiatives as payroll giving, where employees can donate to a charity of their choice through the payroll process before tax is deducted. This helps to make more money for charities, boosts the CSR for a company brand, and heightens employee morale.
What is CSR?
Corporate social responsibility covers a range of strategies that companies can implement as part of corporate governance. It relates to those processes and ideals that a company has that are ethical and beneficial to wider society, rather than just promoting processes that seek profits alone. There has been a definite shift in how the corporate world operates in recent times, in many cases as a reaction to the shift in how consumers think about their choice of brand, products and services. This can be most keenly felt in the arena of the environment. A brand will be viewed much more positively if it is seen to be genuine in its attempts to reduce its carbon footprint, whether this is through recycling, sustainable delivery processes, or working with net zero suppliers.
The different types of corporate social responsibility
To understand corporate social responsibility as a whole and how it can increase customer retention, it is good to have an idea of the different types of CSR open to a company. It is quite a broad concept, but there are a few simple areas in which it works.
Environmental – this is probably the area of corporate social responsibility that the general public identifies and sees most commonly. It is the way in which a company reduces pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, implementing strategies of sustainability in how they practice. This is a very attractive proposition for the modern customer.
Human rights – fair labour practices, equal pay, fair trade processes, and other ethical concerns make a company one to look out for in the modern world. Customers like to be ‘attached’ to a brand and remain loyal to a company that treats its employees and suppliers in a fair, ethical way.
Economic – the way in which a company operates financially is important to its brand perception too. This could mean utilising new internal processes that minimise waste, to act sustainably whilst improving the financial outlook of the company at the same time.
Philanthropy – there are different ways in which a company can become a philanthropic brand. Sponsoring events and becoming an integral part of the local community is a good way of doing so, whilst the aforementioned payroll giving process for employees to donate to charities through payroll is another great way to boost the image of a brand.
The benefits of CSR to a business
Corporate social responsibility works best when it comes from the heart, a genuine sense of moral obligation from the ownership and management of a company. However, there is always that element of good PR and the benefits that CSR brings a business in terms of customer retention and attracting new customers to your brand.
Good CSR helps to create a strong image for your brand, increasing its awareness and recognition. The better your corporate social responsibility, the better your reputation will be. This in turn helps to increase the chances of retaining customers and attracting new ones, as the modern consumer wants to be attached to ethical businesses.
By supporting good causes, you are showing your existing customers that you care, in return they are more likely to show you loyalty. When you consider the increase in employee retention, the savings on operational costs, and the improvement in investment opportunities, CSR becomes very appealing.
Customer retention and attracting new customers to your brand becomes so much easier with the implementation of cohesive, coherent, and genuine corporate social responsibility measures. Initiatives such as payroll giving (where employees can donate to a charity of their choice, through the payroll process, and before tax is deducted) is a great way to show how CSR is achievable. There doesn’t have to be a grand statement about how your company plans to change the world for the better. Instead, be sincere and genuine in how you implement CSR, whether it is to reduce the carbon footprint of the organisation, or to boost employee morale, and the positive impact this will have on brand perception will be easy to see.