If there’s one thing I dislike, and most people hate as well, it’s businesses (and people) who aren’t honest. When it’s clearly evident that you’re either lying or not telling the truth, people wonder what or why you’re hiding and how the lack of honesty they’ve glimpsed impacts the rest of the business. The most obvious are statements like “we care for our customers” when customers or potential customers get treated like dirt and aren’t treated as valuable humans, and beyond that customers. Your lack of honesty. whether intentional or accidental, breaks the trust that a customer has in you, and damages the relationship you were trying to create or had created.
With the thousands of choices we make each day and the dozens of options for each choice we have it’s easy to find a new option when one breaks our trust. The biggest shame in that is the business that is willing to say “eh who needs them, we’ve got others.” Ouch. I certainly don’t like being treated as second best, or second string, and many businesses know how to do just that.
By being honest and upfront (or at least not denying), about your not so great customer service, your average products, your slow response time, or owning up to issues that happen you’re creating an opportunity to rebuild the trust that could be so easily lost. Without trust you won’t create a repeat customer relationship, in fact you could easily create an enemy who goes and trashes your business online and around town to their friends.
When you’re willing to be honest about who you are and what you offer, you show the customer that you recognize your flaws and give them hope that the best is yet to come. Most people I know are willing to accept works in progress, even ones with lots of faults. But if you’re not acknowledging the faults, and certainly not doing anything about them, most people steer clear.
Who needs to hear honesty from you today? I encourage you to approach that person or those people and be honest with them.