With the big data to back it, many corporations are realizing that treating customers right and being an actual part of the communities in which they serve is not only a good move for the moral compass, but it also helps increase the bottom line. Corporate social responsibility, for example, is a business trend that involves corporations having representatives attend local events, or on a larger scale, focusing advertising toward social movements such as the current Black Lives Matter movement.
As agreements on social issues can tend to be difficult in a large office setting, appropriate corporate governance is needed to ensure employees are still happy with what their company represents. At the end of the day, even if a group of employees do not agree with a given corporate social responsibility initiative, executives can simply share some statistics showing that companies who serve their communities with genuineness and honesty are successful companies. Here are a few examples of how corporate transparency can help you keep your company growing.
Start at “Home”
In order to be able to preach transparency with your customer base (and ultimately be heralded for that transparency), your company first needs to practice that same transparency in the office and during other interactions with colleagues. If you feel that your employees and coworkers are being phony and passive aggressive, make it known. There are plenty of healthy ways to mediate workplace conflict, but avoidance is certainly not one of them. It will either lead to one or more of the parties looking for another place to work, or one or more of the parties allowing their disagreements to escalate to the point that other employees may find it difficult to work.
In addition to conflict resolution, transparency should also be shared with employees when it comes to goals for a given project, progress on that project, and the progress of other people involved in that project. Building a company culture that allows for someone to say, “I’m not doing well and I need help” is absolutely fantastic, albeit still a rarity in the modern corporate world. Part of being able to say that, however, is being able to see that other people are succeeding at higher rates, another part of transparency.
In addition, this transparency should always be shared with colleagues regarding corporate changes, benefits, time off, and really anything that could affect the life of a given employee. When employees feel this sense of empowerment relative to transparency and honesty with their coworkers, it becomes much easier to share that transparency and honesty with customers.
Let the Customers Help
Yelp, an online business review, is a pretty popular website for anyone who hasn’t seen a computer in the last 15 years. Thanks to increased abilities for customers to provide feedback, customer service simply had to improve to avoid a website full of negative reviews about a given company (in their defense, the odds of people leaving positive reviews is much smaller.
With that, the more customers know, the more they can talk about, and ultimately help you improve your product or service, whether they realize they are helping or not. Microsoft conducted a survey that showed a whopping 97 percent of consumers were more likely to remain loyal to a company that digested and incorporated their feedback than they were with a company who may have provided a better product or service, but failed to engage in any sort of feedback.
Make customers feel like part of the team, and they might just become one.
By preaching transparency in both internal and customer rings, everyone is just more “in the know,” and has more realistic expectations for the company, or the products they receive from the company. An old office mantra of “under-promise and overdeliver” can be used when dealing with customers and have the same effect it has on employers… the “wow, this is more than I expected!” response, that always makes the person thinking it feel better about their relationship with whatever it was that exceed their expectations.
As transparency is (somewhat sadly) more of a new trend thanks to financial data proving it is the right move, you may find your colleagues, or even yourself, slipping back into a more secretive mindset when in the workplace. With this, it’s important to make sure all of these means of increasing transparency both with colleagues and consumers are repeated often.