This year has been a unique year for businesses and consumers alike, particularly in light of major online data breaches, fake news, and increased privacy concerns. These concerns have led to a growing demand for corporate accountability. In fact, 86% of people say transparency from businesses is more important than ever before. Additionally, 81% of people believe businesses have a responsibility to be transparent when posting on social media, which is a higher standard than they set for family, friends or themselves.
So how does transparency benefit your business and how can you incorporate more of it in your business dealings with customers?
Benefits of Transparency
- Brand Loyalty: 53% of people are likely to consider brands that are transparent and 94% of consumers say they are more likely to be loyal to a brand that offers transparency.
- Increased Sales: 73% of consumers say they are willing to pay more for a product that offers complete transparency and 33% say they would purchase more from brands whose CEO’s are transparent.
- Improved Team Morale: employees who work for companies that practice internal and external transparency trust the company more and share that confidence with customers.
- De-escalate Crises: 85% of people say a business’ history of being transparent makes them more likely to give them a second chance after a bad experience or major corporate mistake. 89% say a business can regain their trust if it admits to making a mistake and takes necessary steps to resolve it.
- Customer Retention: 86% of consumers say a lack of transparency with a brand is likely to drive their business to a competitor.
How to Be More Transparent
- Create a Culture of Honesty: A company’s culture with their employees and customers says a lot about them. Encouraging a safe environment for employees to share their opinions and ideas with management creates open lines of communication and trust. Companies that are honest with customers about shipping issues, policy changes, product prices, and other concerns gain customers’ confidence.
- Make Information Easily Accessible: customers should be able to find information quickly and easily on social media channels as well as a company’s website. When information is requested, companies should be open and honest and provide accurate information. This helps brands appear more transparent in sharing the reasoning and actions going on in the business.
- Respond to Customers: customers expect a quick and honest response from companies when they reach out to them. Rapid responses also help businesses in many ways. For customers inquiring about products or services, it can reach them at the critical time in the buying cycle where they are more likely to complete a purchase or registration. It can also ease frustration about a product or shipping issue and allow the company to resolve it before the customer writes a negative review. Being responsive shows that you care as a company and want to make sure your customer is satisfied.
- Be Active on Social: businesses that are present and active on social media, posting regularly and sharing updates, promotions, customer reviews, and insights into the company happenings makes businesses feel more relatable and open. It lets customers know the brand is in business and staying on top of trends and addressing issues. Social media is a platform that allows brands to make the customer feel like a part of their business while listening and responding to feedback from customers and implementing it into future products and policies.
- Admit to Mistakes and Rectify Them: One of the biggest mistakes a brand can do is try to cover up or mislead customers about problems. By openly addressing it and admitting fault, customers are more likely to be understanding and see the business as a more human-centered entity that is doing its best to provide quality products and services. They are more likely to forgive the company and maintain loyalty for their honesty and eagerness to right any wrongs.
Becoming a fully transparent business can be a scary and difficult process. But slowly incorporating these changes can help you show your customers that you are open, honest, and truly want their business long-term.
Contact The Light Digital for help creating an effective and transparent digital marketing strategy.