We all know the feeling of being duped; those times we were made to believe something that ended up not being true. Likely, you have experienced this in both your personal and professional lives, and no matter where it shows up, it doesn’t leave you feeling good. This always reminds me of one of our CEO, Tara Kelly’s favorite quotes:
“At the end of the day, people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou.
How does this play into transparency?
BusinessDictionary.com defines transparency as a “lack of hidden agendas or conditions, accompanied by the availability of full information required for collaboration, cooperation, and collective decision making.” It goes on to outline that this is an “essential condition for a free and open exchange whereby the rules and reasons behind regulatory measures are fair and clear to all participants.”
While the definition is a little bit technical, there are a few keys here as to how transparency creates value in your customer exchanges.
- Lack of Hidden Agendas
Just like animals seem to be able to smell fear, your customers can smell your <<insert appropriate noun here>>. We’ve all become so jaded that businesses are just out to “make a buck” that we just assume they don’t care about us. So, how could it make a difference to your brand if you DID truly show your customers that you care? That you communicate with them truthfully, keep your promises, and express true regret when you can’t.
- Availability of Full Information
As a business, we can’t always know everything. You can’t necessarily know a delivery will be delayed for a retail product, nor can you predict a catastrophic event that will hit an insured’s neighborhood. And neither can you stop a client’s card from being stolen and frauded. But you can provide all the available information to your customers when they need it. All it takes is being willing to share critical updates proactively and in real-time. Not doing this now? Reach out to a SPLICE Team Member and we’d love to support you in getting started!
- Free & Open Exchange
Now I get to throw in a Disney quote: as Belle states in the new live-action Beauty & The Beast movie (if you haven’t seen it yet, get on it!), “Can anyone be happy if they aren’t free?”. If customers feel restricted in their interactions with you, they can never reach the state of a Raving Fan; and isn’t that what we’re all striving for? By doing a good job of executing on #1 and #2 above, you create space for the best possible customer experience, which is a distinct competitive advantage today.
All these things add up to that one critical factor in creating a real customer relationship: TRUST. Being transparent with your customers creates a level of trust that cannot be accomplished otherwise. Even if you are killing it with product selection, price and promotion, without trust, you will never have a committed customer base.
Looking for more information on how to create trust with your brand? I would love to discuss more! Connect on LinkedIn or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.