Do you know one straightforward and undemanding way you can generate more traffic? It’s actually by being transparent.

Adopting a more transparent approach can bring enormous benefits in terms of employee engagement and productivity. With this, you’ll be able to convert more of your visitors into customers. Further, it positions you in such a way that you can efficiently respond to problems and controversies if any arise.

Advantages

1) Improved customer service
A car manufacturer that tries to hide a product defect may come across to consumers as being sneaky and dishonest. But if a manufacturer publicly admits a defect and takes steps to repair it, he is more likely to retain or even attract customers through his forthright behavior.

2) Positive Perception
A transparent approach in business shows that you have nothing to hide. Being honest rather than fiddling with corporate information, demonstrates truthfulness.

3) Workforce Involvement
Employees who are not aware of what’s going on in your business may participate in spreading gossip. An open and honest communication with them can help in building loyalty and a higher degree of job satisfaction when they feel as trusted members and not just workers.

4) Status Management
Improved transparency also has a very good impact on company’s reputation, which in turn leads to improved trust from employees as well as customers, allowing you to manage even the most challenging situations smoothly.

Some instances

Transparency begins with knowing your customers and requires having an engaging relationship with your community of customers. Interestingly, many brands are increasingly turning to this approach.

Let’s look at some of the brands that share their numbers to their benefit:

  • McDonalds Canada

With their “Our Food. Your Questions.” digital platform, consumers were encouraged to ask questions and McDonalds promised to step up and provide clear and concise answers.

  • HCL Technologies

Vineet Nayar, VC and Joint MD of this organization, has been one of the most outspoken advocates of this approach. He had been quoted as saying, “all HCL’s financial information is on the company’s internal Web. We put all the dirty linen on the table, and answer everyone’s questions.

  • Moz

A great example of transparency is Moz. Every year, they reveal their revenue numbers, whether they have had a great year or a bad one, they are transparent.

  • Buffer

When Buffer suffered a security breach in October 2013, they avoided the blame game and owned up to the problem. They immediately took to every communication channel they had, apologized for the inconvenience. Not only this, they chose to publish a blog post, which was updated ten times with the ongoing status of the problem and their efforts to make things right.

So it can be seen that these brands don’t just discuss the numbers, but also what went on behind to achieve them. It demonstrates their willingness to stand up and take responsibility for both success and failure.

Some Disadvantages

Transparency has distinct advantages but sometimes this may put business growth and financial plans at risk.

1) Timing
Whenever there is any scandal, it’s better to get to the bottom of it and ensure that your customers know what all efforts you are taking to resolve it. The more you keep them hanging, the more they are likely to think the worst.

2) Competition
This approach can put the brand at competitive disadvantage. So the amount of information and the timing can be filtered to lessen the potentially damaging consequences, provided the information released has the planned effect.

3) Sensitive information
If a disgruntled employee ever wanted to take vengeance, he or she could easily hand over that information to competitors.

Conclusion

So it’s for the brands to thoughtfully weigh both the advantages and disadvantages before going ahead.

Today when customers have more information than ever before, available at their fingertips, brands that are transparent are more likely to win. It’s just a matter of time before your opponent knows what you already know. So why not just put it all out there and gain traffic out of it?

 

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