Everyone is talking about transparency from governments to local businesses. Unfortunately, the competitive nature of business has caused managers and owners to clam up. They don’t want to share what goes on behind the scenes. You don’t necessarily have to give away the farm in the name of being transparent. However, sharing more than the basic required info shows customers you have nothing to hide. Transparency gives them a reason to trust you, and trust is what brings customers back time after time.
The Value of Being Open and Honest
If you think the importance of transparency is overrated, think again. A study published by Label Insight revealed that 94 percent of consumers said they would rather place their loyalty with companies that offer transparency. Even if you think a customer can’t comprehend all the information you give them, they still appreciate the gesture. It shows you aren’t trying to pull one over on them. Plus, it gives them the chance to ask questions about issues they don’t understand. It casts you in the role of expert, which makes you a hero. Plus, it makes customers feel like they’re part of the process, part of a team, and that builds trust, too.
Be Pro-Active With Transparency
Many companies hold information close to the vest, exercising transparency only if a public scandal forces their hand. That’s kind of like closing the barn door after the horse escapes. The negativity surrounding the incident taints public perception. Even after laying all the cards on the table, it can take a business quite a while to recover its reputation.
That’s why transparency must be a pro-active move. Companies should practice it without being forced to come clean. Of course, that means getting organized and streamlining your business so that transparency showcases your shop in the best light. After all, if you get naked, getting in shape is no longer an option. However, it isn’t all about presenting your business as being perfectly perfect. Owning up to mistakes is a vital part of being transparent. Passing the buck on a blunder or trying to justify it can come across as being shifty or outright dishonest. Owning up to the misstep, apologizing for it, and taking steps to make it right are the best, most transparent ways to handle an error.
Transparency Supports Value
Transparency does more than build customer trust and give you the chance to be an expert. It’s also an opportunity to support the value you offer for the prices you charge. Transparency in estimates is one example. In general, customers don’t understand everything involved in a service or repair job. Detailed estimates show them exactly why you charge what you do, justifying the value and educating the customer in one shot.
Taking that first step toward transparency can be scary, but it’s the right thing to do. It shows respect for customers and promotes confidence in your shop. That does more than build trust. It creates long-term satisfied customers.