3 Ways to Build Customer Trust by Embracing Transparency
From food labels in grocery stores to data privacy in app stores, consumers are demanding more transparency and accountability from brands than ever before — and they’re willing to pay a premium for it. According to recent research by Adobe, 44% of global consumers will spend at least $500 or more each year with the brands they trust most; one in three will spend at least twice that.
But what exactly is the relationship between trust and transparency? And why does it matter? Businesses that prioritize transparency don’t just win with customers; they win with employees and investors. Transparent companies, quite simply, outperform their counterparts, according to new research from Transparency Global, a company whose mission is to accelerate the world’s adoption of corporate transparency.
So, what does it mean to be a transparent company? Transparency Global has defined transparency in the business world based on a series of KPIs ranging from transparency of data sharing to publicly available policies and values.
Transparency Global helps businesses quantify and improve upon transparency so that consumers can know who to trust. Five9 prides itself on creating trust with customers, partners, shareholders, and employees, and we’re honored to be included among Transparency Global’s Top 100 Most Transparent Companies in the World. We’ve also been named a Certified Transparent CompanyTM, and during our certification process we learned some best practices that any company can apply to increase transparency and trust with their stakeholders. Read on for three of our favorite insights.
Demonstrate your commitment to the standards that matter most to your customers.
Transparency standards are organizational requirements that hold you accountable and make your policies more meaningful and effective. Examples include your privacy, ethical, and diversity standards.
Standards will vary based on your industry and corporate values, but make sure the guidelines are always easy for key stakeholders to understand and access. It’s also important not to go overboard and advertise every single corporate policy. It’s not about checking the box for the sake of appearing transparent: It’s about living your values and focusing on what matters most to your stakeholders.
Focus on a handful of the standards and practices that are most significant. For instance, a fashion company may want to highlight its sustainability practices related to garment manufacturing, while a more meaningful approach for a financial institution may be to highlight the employee code of conduct and corporate ethics.
As a contact center provider that handles customer data and scaled interactions, our customers depend on us to be secure and reliable, so we prominently feature our security and privacy standards and customer and corporate data protection standards.
Make your terms and conditions ridiculously simple.
Most customers don’t read the fine print. It’s an unfortunate habit we’ve picked up from years of skimming and scrolling through unintelligible legalese that demands a seemingly impossible amount of attention. It’s just much easier to click on “OK.”
But, of course, that isn’t actually OK. Customers need to know their legal rights and the risks associated with using a company’s products and services. They need to know exactly what they’re agreeing to — particularly in this era of growing distrust around the use of consumer data. The most transparent organizations understand this well, and they keep their terms and conditions as brief as possible while still clearly defining expectations.
This doesn’t mean you need to fit your contract onto the back of a napkin. But you can make your terms and conditions easier to follow by using short sections, bullet points, and accessible language. Call out any provisions that customers may want to review more carefully. The fewer potential “surprises,” the greater the potential for customer retention and satisfaction.
Encourage unbiased rankings and reviews — and make them public.
Transparency Global’s Trust KPI measures an organization’s “trust level” using sources of corporate reputation rankings, including Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Glassdoor Review scores.
NPS measures the likelihood a customer will recommend products and services, based on a 0-to-10 scale. Companies can use automated text messages or email surveys to collect this data following customer interactions. Making NPS publicly available validates that your organization holds itself accountable to customers and adds an extra incentive to ensure every customer’s experience is exceptional. Five9 proudly shares its reliability and services NPS score via our Trust website.
Extend the same care to your employees by encouraging them to share feedback with Glassdoor or through employer-certification programs such as Great Place to Work. You can source employee review participation at the individual manager level or as part of a company-wide campaign.
The key is to encourage unbiased feedback, simplify the task for stakeholders to share positive and negative reviews, and ensure they know you value both. For example, Five9 is part of the Gartner Peer Insights Customer First program for Contact Center as a Service. To join the program, Five9 committed to review sourcing best practices as defined by Gartner Peer Insights and added a review sourcing widget to its website that enables customers to easily submit and read reviews. This ensures that every Five9 customer has an equal opportunity to share candid feedback: Customers can submit reviews at will and they are published without involvement from Five9.
Leveraging industry-recognized review sources like Gartner Peer Insights helps inform Five9 product roadmaps and allows our services and support teams to be more responsive to customer needs based on what’s working and where improvements may be needed.
Trust and transparency are the keys to success and a foundational element of the Five9 approach to CX for and with its customers and partners. Learn more about how Five9 prioritizes transparency and builds trust with our customers.