transparency in retail

#CXTweetChat unveils retail doing it right, social platforms letting loose

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Have you joined a #CXTweetChat yet? If not, you’re missing out!

It was a lively discussion on Twitter during our last session as we were discussing the role of transparency in customer experiences in preparation for #CXDay2019. Folks from all industries joined in using the hashtag #CXTweetChat. 

In particular, it was an interesting day to have the chat, especially on a social network like Twitter. Why? 

Because earlier that day, Facebook said politicians don’t have to follow the rules of transparency as others on the platform – which raised a ton of questions around social platform responsibility, especially in regards to transparency. 

That was an answer to the second question asked of the day, but it was a leading indicator of where the conversation would go. 

We are living in a time in which transparency is important in nearly all sectors – but some of the most important ones, like social media platforms, are backing away from transparency. While other industries, like retail or the food industry, are moving more and more toward it. 

The health sector was brought up multiple times in the discussion, especially as millennials are facing a search for transparent health care providers for aging parents. 

There have been some solutions offered in this realm, such as Honor, the at-home health care platform started by ex-Googlers who were looking for easier, more trust-worthy ways to get in contact with providers. 

What was clear throughout the conversation was that, first, it’s better to be proactive about transparency than reactive. After all, you don’t want to end up in a Flint, Michigan situation.

It was also clear, though, that brands don’t always get this right. After all, it is a group of people behind every brand, and we all make mistakes. Sometimes you disagree with a customers. Sometimes, the details slip through. But, the worst thing you can do is offer no response. 

In fact, there were multiple situations brought up that showcased wrongdoing by a brand, with an apology and a course of action. For many, this made them like that brand even more. 

After all, the basics of a good and transparent customer service experience is based in the golden rule: do unto others as you would have them do to you. 

In other words, a good CX experience is hard work for brands, but it is about relationship building – not perfection. 

This mentality and mantra, if you will, applies also to how your brand treats its employees.

It’s the employees, at the end of the day, who will be dealing with customers and implementing any CX solution. If they are not treated in the same way they are expected to treat the customers, who can expect turn over (which is expensive) as well as careless and even potentially purposeful “mistakes.”

For some brands, this will mean that employees come first, even before customers. That’s because giving employees a higher purpose and loyalty to the brand, instilling the values of the brand within them through daily action and repetition, will ultimately have them treating customers better, too.  

Transparency, in that way, is a habit and a muscle that needs to be exercised.

At the end of the day, customers need to feel like they are getting the real “you” every single day. And the best way to make that happen is by actually having the real “you” show up – through a happy employee who believes in the brand. 

So, how do you make this happen, especially at larger organizations that do not have this type of thinking built into their DNA? 

Well, you begin with yourself. After all, you are the change you wish to see in the world. Second, find brands that are already doing this and winning – and then present on them. Walk executives and leaders through the conversations and communities these brands are building, and make a financial case for being a more transparent organization. 

Transparency is its own currency in the end. And that’s because transparency breeds trust. And trust, that is the most valuable emotive you can elicit from your customers. To be a brand that is trusted, like Patagonia or The New York Times, is to be a brand that lasts for centuries. 

Join us for our next #CXTweetChat on
Friday, October 25,
11:00 a.m. EST, 8:00 a.m. PST.
We’ll be discussing all things customer service and CX! 

Tracey Wallace
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Tracey Wallace

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