Transparency. Especially now, there seems to be an ever growing outcry for it in government, business, and society as a whole.
But why does it matter so much and why is everyone seemingly obsessed with it?
Simply put, transparency likens itself to trust, a value vitally important in any form of relationship and especially those dealing with profit. If you want to grow, your company core values need to be based on business transparency. From the CEO to the office temp and from the salesperson to client, trust is what keeps a business alive and well.
How it Benefits You
As mentioned before, potential and existing customers will be more likely to trust a business that is transparent, not only about their successes, but their struggles as well.
Transparency and trust allows co-workers to work better together as well. Transparency increases workplace moral, encourages unity, and fosters positive developments. If your employees are comfortable and excited to work together, tasks will be completed more efficiently in a positive environment. This open atmosphere can then encourage employees to voice ideas for change to improve your business niche standing and take opportunities to diversity to remain competitive.
If you played sports in school, think about your relationship with your coach. When coach is drawing up plays, you expect him to show you who’s running the ball vs who’s blocking and how that play will get you into the end zone.
You’re more likely to trust his direction when you know the play and how it all comes together. You don’t feel just like a pawn on a chessboard, instead you feel included in the team because you’re now all on the same page.
And then what do you do next season? You come back. You show up for those 2-a-days and work hard with the rest of your team, knowing that you’re going through it together.
When you include your clients in discussions and readily give them the information they’re looking, they’re more likely to 1) stay a loyal customer and 2) positively review and recommend your business to others. As your customer communication and openness positively increases, you will see your customer base grow to match.
Transparency is another valuable way to put your customers first and show them you value their continued business. It helps build your brand loyalty, trust, and awareness through social media, word of mouth, and web reviews, solidifying your presence as an industry leader.
Know What Your Customer Wants
We all know that customers do a fair amount of product research before contacting the corresponding business. If they don’t find what they’re looking for or they don’t believe the information they find (even if it’s true), guess what? They’ll leave and you’ve lost the sale before even making direct contact.
In our modern society, secrecy and privacy has gone out the window with the popularity of social media and rapid web searches. At one time, a sense of mystery may have been sought after, but now people want immediate answers about everything. Holding back information, especially in the business world, will only hurt your reputation.
Gate-keeping will only drive customers away and hurt your brand name. People will wonder why you’re hiding certain information from them and will close themselves off in return. Progress can’t be made unless both parties are willing to give. It may be scary at first to break the openness and trusting stalemate, but you’ll have a solid ROI for your leap of faith.
If you want to have a good relationship with a customer, there needs to be equal transparency on both sides. Openness allows for creativity, progress, and respect to develop, greatly enhancing customer relations and cutting down on time spent on “busy work” or exasperated phone calls.
Then, your business name will be synonymous with terms like “trust” and “success”, skyrocketing your annual revenue and influencer status.
So, where do you start?
How to Implement Business Transparency in the Workplace
There’s not a specific formula for gaining someone’s trust, but there are proven ways to earn it over time.
The best way to stimulate change is to lead by example. CEOs need to actively model transparency to their employees and ensure company values and expectations are upheld in all areas. Start open conversations, share ideas on how to better a system or process, and then be available and ready to meet with customers and co-workers alike.
3 easy ways to implement and execute business transparency:
1. Clearly state the cost of your product or service. Cost is a determining factor for many potential customers. They want to have a firm grasp on the particulars of a product, so they can determine if it’s what they’re actually looking for.
2. Be open about your achievements and successes, as well as your mistakes and negative reviews. Don’t show only one side of the story. No business is perfect 100% of the time, customers will hopefully realize that. What they want to see is how you’ve addressed those problems that occurred in the past and how you plan to prevent them in the future.
3. Live out your business’s core values individually, and as a collective. Encourage your employees to connect with clients on Linkedin, start an educational blog aimed at addressing customer problems or discussing important industry topics, and be active in your community by participating in fundraiser events or donation drives.
Transparency on the web will encourage potential customers to contact you and help eliminate any initial concerns they have about the quality, dedication, and ethics of your business. Owning up to the good and the bad is characteristic of a continually successful company. Potential customers want to know if something goes wrong, you won’t leave them in the lurch and shy away from opposition.
Transparency encourages trust and trust creates consistent, satisfied customers.
A business relationship should be entered into like any other form of relationship, with trust and open communication. Before a individual becomes a client, they’ll want to know just exactly who they’ll be working with.
Transparency is the only way to build and maintain trust with your customers in the business world. Focusing on openness in business and co-worker relationships will ensure quality, communication, and unity for everyone involved. Trust is a necessity in business and it’s a direct result of complete transparency.