Transparency simply means being honest and forthcoming with others and not hiding important facts and details.
In business, transparency can boost success and reputation, while a lack of transparency can cause serious problems. Ninety-four percent of customers say they’re likelier to be more loyal to brands that demonstrate transparency, and 73% say they’re willing to pay more for products purchased from these businesses.
Brand building through transparency requires a handful of key practices. Here are some of the things you can do to build trust in your business through transparency.
Define and communicate brand values internally.
You can’t be transparent about your brand values if you don’t know what they are. The first thing to do is to articulate key brand values. The second is to ensure these values are clearly communicated to and understood by employees.
Employees who understand core business values and support them are better equipped to help with brand-building efforts. Whether or not they work in a customer-facing setting, employees who know which brand values they’re trying to fulfill help transparency efforts simply by understanding them.
Engage, monitor and refine your presence on social media.
Social media can be an outstanding platform for showcasing brand transparency, but strategy and sustained effort are necessary. The main tasks are to post high-quality, original, compelling content and engage with followers and commenters on social media.
Social media monitoring tools help you understand which posts and content types resonate most with people, and they help you to refine your presence on social media by posting the right types of content at the right times.
Embrace and respond to online reviews.
Brands that don’t read or respond to reviews are destined for mediocrity. Today’s consumers want to know what others think of the companies with which they’re considering doing business, and online reviews can be a goldmine of valuable information.
The brands that read and respond to online reviews (particularly their negative online reviews) improve online reputation management through their willingness to address customer concerns. Brands with high numbers of online reviews not only demonstrate transparency but show that many consumers trust the brand enough to do business with it.
Share important customer survey findings.
Surveys are valuable online reputation management tools and sharing survey results is another way that brands show transparency. Even when a survey shows a negative sentiment (because, for example, a new product line wasn’t well-received), putting it out there demonstrates that the brand is listening to the voice of the customer. When businesses post survey results and state what they plan to do to address any problems uncovered by the survey, they further increase trust from consumers.
Brand transparency and online reputation management are natural partners. Strong online reputation management provides strong support for brand-building efforts. Reputation.com offers a comprehensive, integrated set of tools that facilitates all the tasks involved in being transparent with customers. Download The Case for Integrated Online Reputation Management to learn more today.