Transparency has been a hot topic among businesses of all sizes for decades. Most business owners typically think of how transparency can be applied internally within their organizations and the commonly associated benefits such as increased employee satisfaction, retention, and innovation. While this is an important and consistently validated application of transparency, there is also tremendous value in achieving an appropriate level of transparency with prospects and customers. Here are four important benefits of increasing transparency with those outside of your business.
1. Earn Public Trust
Bad publicity can be devastating for businesses of all sizes, across all industries. One of the best ways to avoid a negative online reputation is to freely offer some insight into your business, products, and processes from the start. This is especially important when building a positive online reputation among new leads and prospects. Let potential customers know exactly what they are getting into when they commit to your company.
Great customer reviews are one of the most important ways to earn public trust and build a positive public image as a company. Businesses that can equip customers with the tools to make it easy to review and share their positive experiences have a significant advantage over the competition.
2. Build Stronger Relationships with Customers
To state the obvious, companies will not leave positive reviews without having had positive experiences with your business. Providing a high level of transparency and communication with customers can strengthen customer relationships and lead to better customer experiences worth sharing.
Every industry has unique challenges in delivering products and services that can negatively impact the customer experience. For a roofing company, this could be a lack of clarity around the project timeline, including when permits are pulled, a demo is scheduled, or when materials will be ordered, delivered, or installed. Keeping customers updated on exactly where they are in any given project can help preserve a positive experience, even when things don’t go exactly as planned.
In those cases where the unexpected happens, having a tool to quickly and effectively communicate updates and changes also helps to maintain transparency and produce more positive experiences. For customers that might not frequently be checking emails, a highly-visible push notification to a mobile device is a low effort way to make a big impact.
3. Set Clearer, More Accurate Goals
Transparency helps businesses set better internal goals by creating an environment where employees communicate honestly about stretch goals, progress, roadblocks, and the likelihood of adhering to timelines and budgets. This translates well to the way businesses should communicate goals and timelines with their customers.
For example, when there is clear communication around potential supply chain issues that are currently affecting so many industries, businesses are able to set more realistic expectations around project timelines and budgets. Customers will almost always prefer a 4-week project to a 2-week project with 2 additional weeks of delays.
4. Increase Profits
Last but certainly not least, transparency within a company and with customers will have a positive impact on the bottom line. Around 67% of consumers have said they are willing to spend more when buying from a company they view as being transparent. Transparency is also consistently ranked as the most important factor in brand loyalty.
Customers that have positive experiences with transparent businesses are not just more likely to maintain subscriptions or become repeat customers. They are significantly more likely to actually refer a business to friends, family, and their larger network. This is where transparency can have the largest impact on profitability.
85% of Americans are likely to stick with a business during a brand crisis if it has a history of being transparent. (Source: ZDNet)
Once a business has done the hard work of delivering an excellent product or service with a positive customer experience, the natural next step is to leverage that goodwill to create a thriving referral channel. Technology can also be used here to make it easy for customers to submit referrals, and for businesses to track, manage, and payout those referrals once they have turned into new business.
Make sure your business has the tools needed to capitalize on your efforts to be transparent with prospects and customers. Whether you are looking to source positive reviews, accurately track project stages, efficiently communicate with customers, or automate your referral business, GTR has the tools to meet your business needs.
If you’re interested in learning more about how GTR can help automate and grow your business, click the button below, schedule a demo, and we’ll be in touch shortly.