Transparency is much more than a buzzword. The topic of transparency carries significant weight in today’s competitive business environment. Everyone, from executives to employees, to customers, is talking about transparency. Why?
The answer is simple: transparency builds trust.
Transparency is a key factor to the success of a company, and it begins in the workplace. Employees want to work for a business where information – company goals, business trajectory, product roadmaps and more – is proactively shared. For many companies, this requires a change in the way employees engage with one another. Instead of relying on email, innovative companies are creating online communities where employees can share ideas, access resources, and collaborate on projects. This not only enables employees to improve performance and productivity but also establishes a culture of trust and accountability throughout the organization.
Employees aren’t the only ones demanding transparency. Customers want to trust that companies are putting their needs above those of the company. An online community enables companies to establish trust through authentic engagement. Today’s customers, especially millennials, want to contribute in a meaningful way. According to Forbes, 62% of millennials say that if a brand engages with them, they are more likely to become loyal customers. An online community gives customers the opportunity to ask questions and learn how to successfully use your product or service.
This level of transparency created through communities leads to a more customer-centric atmosphere; the more transparent the company, the deeper the customer relationship. The combination of transparency and trust humanizes brands and makes customers feel like they have a personal connection with your company. However, transparency is not only valuable to the customer; it also benefits the company. Transparency builds trust among employees and customers. Trust improves employee retention, happy employees strive to exceed customer expectations, and customer retention increases profits.
Transparency also provides powerful insight into customer satisfaction. Once mutual trust is established, customers will be more open to providing feedback. Encourage them to post frequently in your online community and share their experiences with fellow customers. What others say about a company is seen as more valuable and credible than what a company says about itself. These interactions will allow companies to better understand where they exceed customer expectations, as well as identify areas of improvement.
Transparency is much more than a buzzword – it is a critical component to a company’s success. An online community is an effective way to establish a culture of transparency, increase employee trust, and deepen customer relationships.