What Are Some Of The Practical Approaches To Building A Business With Integrity?
Before I touch on the approaches for ensuring business integrity, let’s take a look at the pitfalls of what can happen without it. Those who pursue their business goals with only profits in mind and dismiss the element of compassion, will fall susceptible to the realities of life in a fast and decisive way. No customer wants to feel like they’ve been conned or disrespected, yet many consumers have been in this position, probably more than once. The business may feel like they’ve won the battle for making the sale, at the expense of creating an unhappy customer, but they’ll lose out in the stride for longevity once word gets out their brand is not to be trusted. Today, poor service, unfairness and disrespect will get a business trampled on immediately with a forthtelling online review. If they have a business page on a social media site, a negative review can be the Achilles heel for a small business, especially if there are multiple infractions. The term “bad news travels fast” was never more potent in today’s age of instant communication – instant information. When I look for a service, I spend more time reading the negative comments to help me assess if I even want to spend my money and energy with the vendor. If crude business practice is not addressed by those running the company, it becomes a window into the personalities of those in the company. If it’s severe enough, it will pave the way for legal retaliation. Already you can see the costs outweigh the benefits.
So how does a business owner or a company at large build their appearance with integrity? It starts before the business is even a business. This is something that has to take shape at the level of one’s personality and unfortunately, it’s not always obvious to everyone running a business. Empathy and a sense of morals will preserve a business’ legacy in a positive light.
Here are a few approaches that should get the desired results:
Honesty is always the best way. Never promise customers more than you’re willing to deliver. Customers tend to be more understanding if they’re given a clear picture for a product or service that is rendered. It’s always good to promote yourself in a reliable manner, but make sure they read the fine print, meaning, if there are downsides to the direction they want to go with your services, they need to know this and accept the risks.
Don’t overstate your skills. Tricking your clients into thinking you can provide expertise that is out of your realm ends up being a huge disappointment for them. They will immediately lose faith in you as a solution provider. You are doing yourself a great service if you tell them you’re not fully qualified in a certain area, but if they’re still willing to give you a chance, at least they do so knowing your short-comings in advance.
Nobody’s perfect. Even an honest business can make mistakes. If this happens and a customer suffers a setback, due to information you presented, be willing to accommodate them in another way, even if it means a partial or full refund. The main point of a successful transaction is for both parties to win.
Expectations of both parties. The customer needs a solution to a problem. It’s up to them to present their needs in a clear way. Misleading or inaccurate information will only create confusion so it’s up to them to know what they want early on. The business is the solution provider. They’re responsible for listening to their client’s concerns and presenting a direction that will satisfy their client’s wishes. Of course, these two expectations may not unfold in an orderly fashion so it’s up to the business to do everything in its power to make the transaction have a happy ending. This will build trust and the business will be seen as reputable in the eyes of its community.