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The Importance of Being Honest with Your Customers

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By Susan - September 16, 2021- in Go-Getter Blog

Customer service is more than just responding to queries & getting orders out lightning fast; it’s also about being honest with your customers. Staying transparent with your customers could also mean the difference between customer loyalty & a high churn rate. Research shows that 90% of Americans use customer service as a factor in deciding whether or not to do business with a company. If consumers hear yours is less than stellar, they’ll find their way to your competitors instead.

The good news is being upfront, honest, & respectful to your customers is also an organic way to create more sales & repeat business. Here’s what to consider when practicing honesty in your own business.

Build Credibility

Being honest with customers builds instant credibility & helps create more trust. It takes guts not to sugarcoat or dance around an issue with customers, & they know it. When you tell them why their order is late or why they got the wrong item twice & take responsibility, they see that your business is built with integrity. 

The mix of personal responsibility & trying to fix the situation goes a long way to keeping customers happy. They’ll trust ordering from your online store because of your track record for doing whatever it takes to make things right. 

Honor Your Customers’ Intelligence

Your customers are savvy consumers who understand the ins & outs of online shopping. Relying on vague terms or excuses instead of the truth will only backfire. Customers see through excuses, & if they feel you’re not respectful, they may get angrier than they were before. 

Tell your customers what happened, what you’re going to do to fix it, and sympathize with their situation. They will likely understand shipping delays in an age where the pandemic has interrupted every industry & supply chain. 

You can also let your customers know what steps you’ll take, so it doesn’t happen again. For example, working with a print-on-demand or white label service like CustomCat produces & fulfills your orders. You don’t need to carry extra inventory, worry about overhead or shipping headaches when we’re taking care of all the details for you. 

Create More Empathy

Retail businesses have a reputation for not really caring about their customers one way or another as long as their sales record is high. But being honest creates more empathy between you & your customers. They have a better understanding that you’re a human on the other side of the screen & truly care about their customer experience. 

Why does empathy, or emotional intelligence, matter when you’re just trying to run a business? You get a better understanding of their own frustrations & concerns. Use that knowledge & direct customer insight to update your policies & FAQs for a more relatable experience. 

Empathy can also impact your bottom line for the better. Exercising emotional intelligence in business is shown to correlate to higher sales directly. Get more customer service tips every ecommerce seller should know. 

Strengthen Your Brand Image

What honesty says about your brand image is key to unlocking more sales, retaining customers, & developing a loyal following, instead of building a brand exclusively around your aesthetics, story, or products, including traits like honesty. 

Being honest & open is an attractive quality for a person, let alone a company that looks out for its customers. The more transparent you are, the more likely customers are to relate your image with honesty & the quality service they want. 

Give Your Customers a Reason to Spread the Word

Customers need more of a reason to spread the word about your ecommerce business than a great product or flash sale. Your online store needs to provide something they can’t get elsewhere to stand out from the competition. Being open, honest, & transparent in all of your communication & strategies feels bold & refreshing in today’s marketplace. 

Even angry customers are some of the most credible customers to have. When they spread the word that they were unhappy but ended up having an incredible customer service experience with your business, the world listens.

Manage Customer Expectations

Practicing honesty is also an effective way to manage customer expectations. When you’re constantly stretching the truth or trying to over-deliver without a plan, customers notice. They’ll either expect that kind of unsustainable delivery schedule or lose trust that you can’t deliver on your promises. 

Use the power of honesty to keep customers in check, so they always know what to expect. The more reliable your service, the more likely they are to stick around as repeat buyers. 

Attract the Right Buyers

The way you run your business will also attract like-minded buyers. Constant sales, chaos, & inadequate fulfillment will attract fly-by-night customers looking for a product, not a brand to stick by. Instead, turn your honesty, efficiency, & ability to meet expectations as a way to attract the same types of buyers who appreciate your business.

Reduce Your Stress

Trying to keep up with brand promises, navigating the customer journey with vague sales speak, & not keeping up with customer service are all a recipe for stress. It’s impossible to stay on top of your game & feel good when you’re drowning in your business. Although honesty won’t eliminate all of your stress, it is a step in the right direction. You’ll be in a better mindset, improve your productivity, and increase your sales when you can guide your business with confidence. 

Final Thoughts 

It’s never too late to practice extreme honesty with your customers. Have you had success being honest with your customers? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below! You’ll end up with happier, loyal customers who are ready to evangelize your ecommerce business.

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