Knowledge is Power
Most organizations are comfortable using the term transparency to refer to internal affairs, but the Age of Technology and global marketplace has birthed an unprecedented Age of Transparency. Today’s world is very different from the world less than fifty years ago. The rules have changed, forever.
The lens of your business IS communication. How clear and clean that lens is determines how transparent the practices, products & dealing appear to your clients… and to your competitors. Does your current communications lens aid or distort your business image? Do you truly have clarity and consistency? Are you revealing too much? How much is enough? What is the right message to share? What to keep quiet?
The Shift. While some businesses are fearful of this deluge of information and apparent loosening of control over the business image, others are embracing these changes and riding a new wave to unexpected success.
True knowledge is power. So know that in today’s world it is inevitable that clients & competitors alike have access to more information. Embracing this knowledge inevitably leads to a more “time up-front” approach to assessing and revitalizing marketing plans from a new angle. Trisym advocates and specializes in moving from a reactive communication style to a proactive one. Release the information control vice grip – empower your business to use newly freed energy and time to pursue new avenues.
3 Major Benefits of Successfully Operating a Transparent Business
Transparency is memorable.
Understand + Like = Buzz
Why? People want to believe in what they’re talking about and they want to be able to easily communicate to their friends and family what they are excited about.
Clients and customers want to like you, allow them to easily do so by giving them multiple opportunities to relate to your unique message, with the people in your company, and to your products.
54% of purchases are driven by word of mouth, 66% of word of mouth brand conversations are positive (as opposed to only 8% being negative). The pros of people talking about your business, even portions of it you never thought would be in the public realm, heavily outweigh the cons – get them talking!
Transparency creates trust.
Customer loyalty is not what it used to be… anything that nabs the elusive repeat customer is gold. Even if you’re not meaning to look ‘scammy’, if you don’t put effort into showing your transparency people may assume you aren’t on the up-and-up. If you could be considered to be hiding something in the eyes of today’s informed consumer you are, by default, a scammer.
The only way to combat this mentality is to share upfront. Tell them what you are, and more importantly, what you are not. Voluntarily offering some limits of your business builds credibility.
Transparency is magnetic.
Authenticity is seductive. Hook that intuitive ‘yes’ in your customer’s gut. Think of your personal relationships – what is the number one thing you look to and value? Most likely it’s what rings true. This sounds simple, and it can be, but only if you don’t assume you have it in your business already. It takes a plan with conscious and consistent effort to make sure you remain congruous from the initial contact following through to sale/project completion with a client/customer.
Tap Into the Benefits of Transparency Now – 3 Essential Rules
1. Integrity reigns.
Do what you say – Say what you do. Know your business in and out, refine it, and consistently think about and act with transparency in mind! If you have specific policies/agreements in place with your customers, honor them – period. An incalculable number of people are now able to peek behind the corporate veil, thus remaining authentic is highly valuable to businesses today!
Remember, Integrity is just as important within your business as between you and your customers. Make sure the same ideals and guidelines of behavior are consistently upheld throughout your organization, not just with those who interact directly with customers. This fosters a culture of shared values in alignment with the purpose of your organization.
2. Communicate clearly.
The best way to practice this rule is to make your message simple and consistent. Clarity is intrinsic to simplicity – remember that.
In regards to external communication – make sure business associates & employees all have correct and sufficient information so they can remain in integrity. There shouldn’t be any ‘fuzzy’ areas, your people should know what they can and cannot say, do, and show.
Let customers see the actual faces of your company, have profiles and share a bit of personal info unrelated to the business itself. Remember, this isn’t The Age of Nameless/Faceless. Clients and customers really like the option to see the people behind the service/product.
Have systems in place which allow for transparency within your business – this is vital. Group settings are most appropriate to foster transparency through prioritizing clear and consistent communication – what’s said to one can be said to all. Allow regular times for this to happen and make sure everyone sticks to the facts & doesn’t point fingers. However, there must be room for some privacy. Setting appointments in advance for these kinds of conversations (as opposed to surprise secret meetings) help a team to respect and participate in group communication sessions.
The importance of appropriate and adequate communication cannot be overstated, but it can be difficult to manage and no business is an island as we’ve come to see in this article. It can be helpful and even necessary to reach out to consulting firms, such as Trisym, which shed light on current practices and help you to refine and hone your business communications on all levels.
3. Respectfully decline.
Saying NO is imperative in a transparent world. Your business associations, the type and quality of work you partake in and your reputation is especially and increasingly important to success in your business sector.
Healthy boundaries within your business and around your business are the keystone to making the Age of Transparency work for you and not against you.
Only engage in projects and work which you have some initiative in, this ensures that you stay true to the integrity of the business and this will shine through the fray. Don’t take something just to get the money! I know, it’s really tempting to say ‘just this once’ but your long-term business success, thus long-term earning potential, hinges on your portfolio.
A Refreshing Perspective
While it may seem like a lot of work to update your business model from the Age of Secrecy to the Age of Transparency you’ll quickly find that you feel more free. Yes, the ultimate benefit to congruity of message and operation is not wasting time and energy on hiding. Most companies who make this shift do it in stages, with the help of consultants who are familiar with the process.
Contact Trisym to discuss how we can help you navigate the changing pace of your business.