Utilizing the Power of Transparency for Customer Retention
According to Macmillan dictionary, a transparent process or company “does not try to keep anything secret.”
This definition does not mean you have to share all the mistakes you did and the classified information. Instead, it’s about being open and honest with your product, the way you do business, and your company values.
Surely, the concept of transparency is easy to understand. However, the big question is, “how should we show this transparency and where is the best place to do that?”
Transparency in Customer Service
Customer service is one area where transparency matters most because — if you’re an online business — it’s where you meet your customers “face-to-face” most of the time.
When it comes to customer service, the focus is mostly on speed and accuracy. Only a few companies realize that transparency is as important as the two.
Here are some ways how your customer service team can exercise transparency when talking to customers:
Show Your Limitations
A lot of businesses often equate excellent customer service with “giving the moon and the stars” to their customers to please them and keep them satisfied. What I mean with this is businesses have a tendency to overpromise and underdeliver, which made more dissatisfied and disappointed customers.
Instead of continuing this dangerous practice, it will do your business good to tell it straight to your customers what to expect. If you can do something about the issue right at that moment, it’s terrific. But if you are not sure how long it will take you to resolve an issue, tell them how long they should wait.
Give Them Clear Expectations
During live interaction with a customer, there will be times when you will ask them to wait while trying to solve an issue. In situations like this, it pays to give the customer an ETA on how long he should wait. The logic is simple: waiting is frustrating and annoying, but not knowing how long it will take you to wait for, doubles the frustration.
What if you go beyond the expected time you have promised, making the customer to wait much longer?
To manage these expectations efficiently, tell customers a waiting time that is more than the ETA. For example, if you think you can deliver a solution within 5 minutes, you should say 8 – 10 minutes. Thus, if you provide it earlier than you told him, he will be much happier that he did not have to wait that long.
Managing Mistrust with Transparency
Political scientist, Ivan Krastev, said that transparency is not about restoring trust, but it is the “politics of managing mistrust”. When you are transparent to customers, they feel secure because they see that you are not hiding anything. So don’t be afraid to open up and be candid to your customers, especially when talking to them live.