Championing Transparency in a Period of Uncertainty
In an age of social media, communication with the people most important to your business is easier than ever – and during times of crisis like the coronavirus pandemic, transparency will be the key to winning loyal customers and employees.
The Government has come under fire for how it has communicated its strategy to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. Its inability to engage members of the public in a transparent way has been a key point of criticism, Philip Turvey, Executive Director at Anglia Research, explains how business leaders should take note.
In our hyper-connected world, trust and credibility are the currency we deal in. There are multiple ways to establish trust with customers, clients and stakeholders, but acting transparently is most critical of all.
Take, for example, the probate genealogy sector in the UK: A relatively small industry that remains largely self-regulated. Efforts to introduce a regulatory body like the Association of Probate Researchers (APR) remain voluntary, and although there is access to a compensation scheme, do not come with the same authority to enforce regulatory measures that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) holds over the financial services sector.
Operating in an unregulated sector such as this poses a challenge to businesses. Many will try to use dubious practices to sign clients. Others will encourage clients to sign contracts that fail to outline clear fee structures, or that are vague on the services they offer. But it ultimately harms the relationship these businesses are trying to build.
In our hyper-connected world, trust and credibility are the currency we deal in.
If a business can verify the costs of its services and the timeframes they will be delivered in, it can build a relationship that is based on trust. There will be less room for complaints later down the line, allowing you to focus on delivering your services – or even win more business.
Traditionally, businesses would get ahead of the competition by winning out on cost, but 21st century methods of communication have changed the game. Business is now often won on customer service, and this has enabled new market entrants and disruptors to win sizeable market shares. One example of this is legal tech start-up Juro, a contract collaboration platform that has made significant gains by offering lawyers a solution that is easily accessible, client-facing and most of all: transparent.
The benefits of absolute transparency are two-fold. It supports your employees in building open and honest relationships with your clients and enables you to do the same with your employees. Many employment experts now agree that people will have up to five careers in their lifetime, meaning that companies will need to work harder to inspire loyalty in their employees than they did a few decades ago.
In a recent survey carried out by LinkedIn, 74% of current job seekers said they wanted a job where they feel their work matters, regardless of industry. If your processes are transparent and easy to follow, your employees might start to see their role as more than just a job – as a vocation, a purpose and a career.
There are challenging times ahead for businesses, but once things return to normal and competition heats up again, clients and customers will demand more. They’ll increasingly look to businesses who treat them fairly and favourably. In times like these, we could all do well to remember that.