3 Ways to Increase Client Retention Through Transparency

3 Ways to Increase Client Retention Through Transparency

In a Label Insight study of SmartLabel transparency technology, 40 percent of consumers surveyed said they would switch brands if one were more transparent; and 73 percent would be willing to pay more. When you’re trying to keep clients happy, somebody will eventually have a less-than-stellar experience, and mistakes will happen. In any relationship, transparency is the key to trust. How to be radically transparent No matter what kind of company you run, regardless of whether you provide a product or service to businesses or directly to consumers, you will need to prove your worth over and over again. Being totally transparent will help you foster the kind of trust and collaboration that keeps clients happy, even when things don’t go perfectly. So, from day one, let people know why things cost money and where that money goes, to proactively defend your value. Don’t create “black boxes.” If your partners don’t provide full transparency into where every dollar goes that you’re spending with them (and how those efforts are going), you won’t know what’s working. For example, if a marketing agency says, “We’re going to create a separate account that we own for all of your campaigns and all of your ad spend,” it's effectively telling you that the company not only owns your data, but also controls the illusion of success or failure. Own your mistakes, from start to follow-up. Clients will see it and ask about it, anyway.

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3 Ways to Increase Client Retention Through Transparency

Here’s a news flash: The days of corporate silos and veiled marketing are over. No longer can a company hide its real intentions or results from investors or clients. In a Label Insight study of SmartLabel transparency technology, 40 percent of consumers surveyed said they would switch brands if one were more transparent; and 73 percent would be willing to pay more.

Let that sink in: Transparency is so important that a majority of people will pay more for it.

But let’s be real. Being transparent isn’t easy. When you’re trying to keep clients happy, somebody will eventually have a less-than-stellar experience, and mistakes will happen. When you commit to transparency, you open your company up to more criticism and questions around any mistakes. And no one is ever psyched to address that kind of feedback.

However, as with so many things in life, when you do the right thing, even though it’s hard, you’re often rewarded — in this case, with higher client retention. In any relationship, transparency is the key to trust. And trust is the key to not only building strong relationships, but also maintaining them. You can’t have one without the other.

The virtuous cycle of transparency and trust

At my company, we go so far as to show clients unfavorable numbers in their existing businesses just to prove that we are transparent, regardless of whether that news is fun to hear.

Occasionally, when clients are convinced that something is true (while we insist that it’s not), our radical transparency can make those clients angry or combative. Nonetheless, it always fosters better long-term relationships. Many of our clients have been burned by marketing agencies that didn’t fully disclose where ad dollars went, or actually inflated returns; but because we understand how vital transparency is, we’ve been able to retain nearly all of them.

BrightInfo is one company that learned the value of transparency after research revealed that, while customers were happy with its product, many falsely assumed that its value was diminishing. To rectify the situation, BrightInfo’s client dashboard began offering irrefutable proof that its product drives ROI by clearly showing the results of all A/B tests and KPIs. After the company instituted that change, its churn rate decreased from 4.4 percent to .5 percent.

How to be radically transparent

No matter what kind of company you run, regardless of whether you provide a product or service to businesses…

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