How businesses can benefit from CSR

Most businesses today do not know that companies who engage in community giving could distinguish themselves from their competitors, and see the many benefits thereof, including having loyal customers and happier employees.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), if properly harnessed, can lead to attracting positive attention to your corporation, and make your employees proud to be part of your organisation.
Although the concept of community giving must go hand-in-hand with having a business that is built on strong relationships, the opportunity automatically presents itself to do CSR when the community is having difficulties.
Microsoft for instance, has corporate responsibility really deeply rooted in its culture, and organises hundreds of social events every year, which has surpassed over $1bn in employee donations over 30 years.
Here are some ways social corporate responsibility can benefit your company both from within and outside your organisation:
Taking up social responsibility activities can be a veritable tool for brand building because it helps stimulate positive image, enshrines goodwill and builds trust. Having an effective CSR initiative differentiates your organisation from your competitors and thus may attract more customer base.
Nowadays, CEOs and top managements have come to realize that one of the best ways to do business is to serve their community, irrespective of whether or not someone is in a buying cycle. When you deliver consistent value, you engender trust. Then, when they are actually on a buyer’s journey, you are already a trusted resource for them.
Employees get the ‘feel proud’ buzz where they work and reciprocate that gesture with some sense of loyalty to their employers.
This good feeling makes them more courteous and amiable as they are helping the community and the world at large, while customers on the other hand, feel that purchasing from your organisation helps the community and the world at large.
Additionally, giving employees an avenue to give back is also key in building morale and developing collaborative efforts.
A good CSR initiative highlights your business’ good side and the publicity gained from arranging such events and providing assistance to charities through this initiative is an effective way to drive free marketing efforts.
Your relationship with society is as important as your relationship with customers.
‎When you choose a unique CSR culture as a company, you do things differently from the competition as it helps your business stand out. This applies to all facets of business, including social responsibility. Having a strong vision to a cause that makes a positive impact gives you a competitive edge.
Today, customers love socially responsible companies.
A survey conducted by Nielsen group, found that 50% of consumers, surveyed worldwide, would be willing to pay more for goods and services from socially responsible companies.
However, the problem is that in countries where there was already some skepticism, the willingness to spend more was lower. What this means, is that companies and the programs you’re implementing need to be really authentic.
Finally, as of today, customers are more aware, more sophisticated and savvy in nature. They check up on companies by scouring their websites, reading online reviews and putting feelers out to their social networks. As a result, the old ‘buyer’s journey’ has given way to more realistic models that takes into account this new reality. The journey buyers and prospects take is no longer linear or even neat, it’s more unpredictable and fluid which poses a big challenge to marketers. Hence the need to explore the possibilities that CSR bring to the shores of businesses.
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