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Today's article and infographic, “How To Make Your Business More Transparent” are inspired by a real-world business.
Don't stop reading…. because….
The topic of business transparency is probably even more relevant to online businesses. Because online – unless there is already some “Know, Like, Trust” factor – those of us with more than a few months experience in the Internet Marketing world, are mindful that “anyone” can throw up a glitzy website, hire a fake actor and “look” transparent. The truth is often very different, as I have found to my cost in the past.
So as you read these tips from Robert Hall of TrackYourTruck, on making your business more transparent, keep in mind how you can apply them to your own business – whether it's online or offline.
Over to Robert…..
How To Make Your Business More Transparent
How does a business build trust between its employees and its customers to spur growth? As a business owner asking this question, you normally focus on how you brand yourself and how you conduct your operations. Are you hitting all key aspects that an employee desires in a positive work environment — such as competitive salaries, clear work goals, a dynamic team environment and motivated managers?
When looking at the issue from a customer dynamic, evaluate whether you are providing courteous and professional customer service, meeting established deadlines, and offering quality products and services.
Yet the one feature that you cannot neglect is transparency.
Transparency From a Customer Perspective
Transparency has become more than just a buzzword for customers. It has become a vital element on how they do business with companies. Customers know all too well how one hiccup from your end of operations could significantly impact how pleased they are with your product or service. For B2B customers, understanding more about your operations and supply chains can affect how they market themselves to the public. If B2B customers have a supplier with a bad brand reputation and poor-quality products, their company image can become sullied.
You can establish stronger customer/business relationships with greater transparency.
Three ways to establish transparency may include:
- Be honest about operations: While it's fine to tout the best aspects of your business to gain clients, exaggerating your work capacity will only be disastrous in the end — as you will end up missing deadlines or shortchanging the customer in products or services. Never promise more than you can actually offer to them.
- Have open communication: Always be responsive to communication — whether through email, phone or social media. Have one person as the point of contact for customers, so they know who to get in touch with immediately. Also, address all customer concerns concisely and accurately. Open communication with clients works for every type of industry — whether you are in hospitality or plumbing. Giving customers the information they need in a timely fashion — such as using GPS vehicle tracking to offer accurate arrival data of a shipment or technician — helps build trust and loyalty.
- Inform customers about mistakes: Whether you billed them wrongly or will be late for a delivery, let the customer know immediately instead of hoping the customer doesn't notice the mistake. Informing customers of problems and following established protocols to right the issues shows you are responsible and accountable to all mistakes.
Transparency From an Employee Perspective
Employees (or – for solopreneurs – subcontractors/virtual assistants) should never be left in the cold when you are seeking to make your operations more transparent. Internal business transparency helps to create a stable and productive work environment when employees know what is expected from them. It also allows employees to be more engaged and speak up about ideas that could be beneficial to the company's goals.
Three ways to build business transparency with employees include:
- Create core values and reachable goals: Employees who don't fully understand company goals or core values will struggle to reach milestones. Let employees know what you expect from them and how they should conduct themselves with other employees and clients. Also, create productive, meaningful and attainable goals.
- Have open-door policies: Employees should feel comfortable enough to come to you or higher management when they are experiencing an issue or concern. You can make your business more transparent by having an open-door policy so you instantly know about problems that could impact operations and cause dissatisfied customers. Encourage employees to speak up during meetings without having them fear that they will face negative backlash.
- Promote open communication between departments: Sometimes, information won't reach the right employee or department at the necessary time to prevent mistakes or issues. Promote open communication not only between managers and employees but also between employees in different departments for a more unified work environment.
Benefits of Business Transparency
With a business that is more transparent, you have a greater ability to see the strengths and weaknesses in your operations. Then, you can create more satisfied customers while employees will enjoy working for your business. By using the above methods, you can have better control over processes, while increasing your business’s growth.
Please check out the infographic below.
Author bio: Robert J. Hall is President of Track Your Truck, a leader in GPS vehicle tracking systems and software for small and midsized companies.
Key Ways To Make Your Business More Transparent created by Track Your Truck