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As a business, what do you need to succeed? A quality product is a must — as is a solid business model. Great people to sell and support your product are key, too. But you also need something else: A culture of transparency that builds and maintains client trust.
We’ve discussed why you should do your due diligence when it comes to IT security by valuing your data, relating your security expenses as a percentage of revenue and comparing that to industry standards, and by being transparent with your leadership. Doing everything you can to help prevent and mitigate unauthorized access helps you and your clients sleep more easily at night. But, what do you say to your customers when the unexpected happens?
It’s time to take the transparency you show with your leadership and apply that to your communication with your clients.
As kids, we learned early on that it’s always better to tell the truth as a matter of trust and integrity, and the same thing can be said of business relationships. Trust is the basis of any meaningful relationship, and it certainly extends to the business-client relationship as well. The foundation of trust absolutely has to be there—otherwise, why would anyone want to invest in your organization? When you adopt a culture of honesty, people tend to be much more trusting when a mistake is made than if you pretend everything is perfect all of the time.
The best way to show transparency is to have it ingrained in the company culture. Encouraging employees to report suspicious, potentially threatening behavior to their superiors without fear of retaliation is key to building a foundation of trust that can then be outwardly shown to clients by being honest about suspicious, potentially threatening behavior that affects them.
However, there is such a thing as being too transparent. Being honest about a lapse in security protocol could also invite unwanted intruders, so be sure your strategy is airtight when it comes to addressing clients. This may include re-evaluating your disaster recovery plan and cover how to handle anything that could cause bad publicity. Having a strategy in place to address issues that could affect you and your clients before they happen saves you time, money and stress.
There are many benefits to be gained by adopting a culture of transparency. While it can be difficult to not only admit when something has gone wrong but also broadcast your mistake to your clients, having the confidence to proactively address those mistakes can leave you with more than enough good will with your customers to overcome any temporary struggles for your business.