Transparency toward your customers is a mustOpinion ·
As customers, when we purchase any product from a business, we expect an honest interaction. Paying customers hate being tricked, whether it’s about the ingredients and materials that go into the product or how a company uses customer data for marketing processes.
Modern companies are increasing the openness and transparency of their operations. While some do this via transparency platforms, others simply periodically display their progress to customers.
Being transparent with your customers can significantly affect their attitude toward your brand and help in developing consumer trust and loyalty. It is similar to eating at a restaurant with an open kitchen, so you can see how food is prepared.
For instance, Heineken shares with all the customers its sustainability journey, from the safeguard of apple and barely farmers to the protection of their local livelihoods. As another example, parents and kids can now discover where their milk comes from with Friso TrackEasy.
The takeaway is that businesses worldwide have realized how meaningful customer transparency is as it helps gain customer trust while also engaging with them.
However, being transparent does not include making every aspect of your company known to the general public, as this could give your rivals access to your trade secrets.The objective is to identify what consumers want to know, comprehend what aspects of your organization you can communicate to them, and choose the most effective method for delivering that information.
What do we mean by transparency?
According to a recent Verizon research, 45% of young customers (aged 18 to 24) claimed they would be willing to disclose personal information in exchange for a more personalized and intuitive user experience. However, 69% of all respondents said they would steer clear of businesses with a history of data breaches.
To deliver the level of personalization that customers demand without compromising their data, businesses must strike a balance between gathering customer data and the need for data protection. Prioritizing client transparency is the key to building long-term relationships. It enables brands to provide a superior experience, build solid relationships, and encourage loyalty.
But what does customer transparency mean? It means operating effortlessly and honestly so customers can observe and validate your business values.
The transparency culture helps businesses position themselves for success. Transparent businesses make information available to customers, so that they know how these companies operate. This information includes information on product and service prices, delivery schedules, and any other policies that might be relevant to the customer. By being completely honest with clients, brands can increase customer retention rates and make them loyal advocates.
Why should your business embrace transparency?
Nowadays, customer transparency is particularly essential because customers are skeptical of how businesses use their data.
According to the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2021, 75% of customers are willing to spend more money on a business that really values them. But what does it mean to be valued?
Customer happiness doesn't exclusively depend on benefits and gifts but also on reasonable pricing, courteous communication, and data security.
Nowadays, so many customers don't trust how companies handle their personal information. That’s why data transparency has never been more important to build successful customer-brand relationships. Firms must be clear about how they collect, use, and share customer data in order to create and maintain a strong connection with their audience.
According to a 2020 McKinsey survey, 71% of customers said they would stop doing business with a company if it disclosed their private information without their consent. Even younger generations are quite concerned about data privacy. According to Internet Innovation Alliance research, three out of four Millennials are worried about how technology and social media businesses utilize their location data.
The silver lining is that brands can gain the trust of their customers by being transparent with them. According to a recent Sprout Social survey, when an organization has a transparent track record, nine out of ten customers are willing to give them another chance even after experiencing bad customer service.
The 2021 Cisco Data Privacy Benchmark Study reports that businesses can receive roughly twice as much value for every dollar invested in customer privacy, with benefits such as a significant boost in customer trust and hence customer retention and referral marketing.
4 Benefits of being transparent toward your customers
Although the primary benefit of being transparent with your customers is customer loyalty and high retention, it is not the only one.
1. Prioritizing customer transparency can unify the business.
Transparency in a business cannot be mandated by executive order or limited to customer service. Every department must be committed to it, including the C-suite, help desk, public relations, and product development. Everyone on the team needs to uphold the company's goal to always be open and sincere with customers, regardless of the situation.
2. Customer transparency leads to increased efficiency and improved performance.
Businesses can operate more efficiently by collecting customer data responsibly through a sophisticated feedback system. A brand that prioritizes complete transparency can improve operational efficiency by creating a great workplace culture.
The culture of transparency fosters strong relationships between staff and customers. Good communication between the company and its customers is important to increase efficiency and improve performance.
When clients have access to information about the different projects and can give honest feedback on the progress, businesses can faster address their customers’ needs. In this way, brands can avoid any negative customer feedback afterwards, client withdrawals, and loss of client loyalty, which would result in decreased corporate revenue.
3. Being transparent with your customers boosts brand reputation.
Transparency with customers benefits the brand in innumerable ways.A corporation will be considered highly respectable in the market if it is honest and open with its customers. Businesses build brand loyalty by developing a relationship of trust between them and their customers. Customer loyalty is the zenith of the sales funnel since loyal customers make repeated purchases, and recommend it to their friends.
4. Customer transparency boosts sales.
Customer openness increases sales because repeat business results from brand loyalty. With your customers being loyal to your business you will build a good reputation. This will help you sell more to potential customers, thus leading to business growth.
How to increase transparency in your business?
Here are some ways to create transparency with clients:
1. Foster in-house trust.
Creating transparency within the brand is the first step in pursuing it with the customer. It is pointless to try and implement transparency in some processes if it is not already part of the corporate culture. Top-down transparency is required. Before they feel comfortable being open with customers, employees need the management to be honest and open within the organization.
2. Be fair and clear when billing.
The key to overcoming clients' frustration with ambiguous bills is transparency. Brands shouldn't play games with pricing. A critical moment of truth occurs when your customer pays for your services.
Start by being transparent with your pricing and outlining all associated charges, taxes, fees, and specified deliverables. Ensure your invoices accurately reflect the services rendered and provide a clear understanding of your terms by following through.
3. Keep the promises you have made.
Customer happiness is significantly dependent on delivering on the promises made to them. The customer feels tricked and loses faith when promised services are not provided. Therefore, make sure you keep your promises or, at least, make the customer aware of why services may not be delivered as promised.
4. Establish two-way communication.
Effective communication is two-way. When a conversation is one-sided, both its worth and impact are diminished. Inform the client that steps are being taken to enhance their experience by listening to their needs and concerns and acting based on them.
5. Be responsible with customer data.
Most businesses passively gather customer information. They have a database containing information such as a customer's past purchases or online browsing habits. While web analytics can provide businesses with hints about consumer browsing habits, a CRM system can track a customer's past purchases.
However, it's crucial to be open and honest with customers about the data the business collects and why — and to offer an opt-out if the client is uncomfortable with it. Brands should never sell a customer's data without that person's consent.
6. Own up to your mistakes.
Mistakes are bound to happen. When they do, don't stay silent. Instead, talk to your customers. You can move on more quickly from a setback if you deal with the situation immediately by finding a solution or making a reasonable offer. The message you want the customer to understand is that you are acting fast to correct the error and taking steps to ensure it won't happen again.
7. Be timely and responsive.
It should be an obligation to answer customer calls and emails as soon as possible. A recent study found that 42% of customers who contacted a business by phone or email expected a response within an hour. Ensure your clients know your stated response time and that you are reachable.
8. State company values.
A reputation for honesty goes a long way, and if it is a core value of the organization, it will go much further. Businesses should be upfront with customers about their expectations for job quality, corporate responsibility, and relationship-building strategies. This gives the transparency at the core of the customer connection a meaningful framework.
9. Share knowledge.
Customers choose your brand because of the team's experience and knowledge. Thus, gatekeeping knowledge will not help you develop a solid rapport with your clientele. Give them the information they require to make wiser judgments.
10. Keep your customers up-to-date on change.
If you inform your consumers of changes (good or bad) occurring within your business, you'll gain their trust and create stronger relationships. Therefore, promptly communicate any changes to your price, business plan, or items.
Remember, what is suitable for your customers is also good for your brand. Data transparency provides customers with security. They can share their information with you because they trust your business to treat it properly and ethically.
Transparency policies not only reassure customers but also assist in distinguishing your company from competition. If you always have your clients' best interests in mind, they will trust you more and continue to do business with you.
How Layerise can help you enhance transparency in your business?
Layerise provides a unique solution that blends customer transparency and client support to assist brands in improving their customer experience.
To personalize the buying experience, brands can employ Layerise to gather client information responsibly. Brands can start collecting vital customer data during the onboarding process.
Utilizing QR technology, Layerise is developed keeping accessibility in mind to provide every customer with the best possible experience. As a result, customers get a superior experience and transparency is improved.
Using this consumer data, brands can automate marketing campaigns depending on their target market's demographics and enhance conversions by creating customized and topical send-outs. Brands may also create enduring customer relationships and a recurring revenue stream by integrating CRM and marketing with Layerise's cutting-edge customer experience capabilities.
To learn more about our solution, schedule a free demo with us!
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