It’s no question that transparent communication improves the overall experience for both customers and your staff. When you practice being open with your internal team, company culture improves—and this transparent communication trickles down to conversations between your associates and customers. What’s more, 94% of consumers say they are more likely to be loyal to a brand that offers transparency. And 86% say transparency from businesses is more important now than ever before. Here are some transparent communication tips plus branded giveaway ideas to help strengthen communication and relationships with staff and customers.
Encourage two-way communication
Ensure that your associates and customers know you want to hear their opinions. Invite them to share their ideas with you—as well as suggestions for improvement. Include staff members in as much decision-making as possible, and when decisions need to be left to leadership, describe why such decisions were made. Provide a branded journal for employees and customers to jot down and later share thoughtful feedback. Or include a suggestion box in a public area and share suggestions in meetings and on social channels. By providing staff and customers an open channel for two-way communication, you are opening the gates for more transparent conversations. Need an incentive to get people to start sharing? Hold a drawing for a prize, like a T-shirt or hat.
Transparency starts when leaders make time to interact (openly and honestly) with their employees and customers. If you’re a leader, make sure your staff and customers know that you are available, whether it’s through company-wide meetings, small group interactions, quick text messages or simply an open office door. Add a sign to your door to let people know you welcome conversations. Or invite customers for a cup of coffee to spark some conversation (branded mug included). When you make yourself available, people will feel comfortable approaching you, which will encourage staff and customers to share information regularly.
Create an open culture
Although being fully transparent and sharing information may be tough at first, continuing to practice transparency allows you to create a positive workplace culture and an environment where employees and customers feel safe sharing feedback. An open culture also means admitting mistakes. Never try to cover up or mislead anyone about a problem. Rather, admit fault and share the lesson learned. If you’re kicking off a new culture initiative, provide training to existing staff and include it in new employee onboarding. Bright branded polos or highlighters are great training giveaways to highlight your transparent culture.
Build trust with customers
Transparent communication and rapid responses go hand-in-hand when building relationships with customers. No matter how great your products or services are, customers will look elsewhere if they don’t trust you. Be transparent by speaking truthfully about your products and services, including their limitations. Address any negative feedback on social media instead of deleting it. And use that feedback as an opportunity to improve. You can thank everyone for sharing—negative or positive—with a small branded giveaway. A cleaning cloth or clear drawstring tote lets them know you appreciate their transparency. Likewise, if a mistake occurs, own up to it right away. And send a note of apology that outlines what you’ll be doing to fix the problem. Include a small gift, like a tin of cookies.
Transparent communication not only improves workplace culture (both internally and externally), it also can attract new customers while allowing you to better serve your current ones. Set yourself up for success and start building a workplace culture that thrives on openness with these tips and branded giveaway ideas.