In general, people want to trust who they interact with. For consumers, that means that they want to trust the companies they do business with. Today’s consumers want to share the same values and vision as the businesses where they give their money. Being transparent is important in the marketplace.
A study released in 2016 from Label Insight found that 94 percent of customers would be more loyal to a brand if the brand “promoted complete brand transparency.” Lying to customers is a bad idea.
Basecamp, a project management app, has put their policies on GitHub for everyone to see. These policies are available for anyone, not just customers. The policies are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution license, which means you can use any of the policies for your own business, provided you give Basecamp credit.
Customers are encouraged to collaborate on policies with Basecamp. GitHub will track changes to Basecamp’s policies, which means that you can always know what happens to your data in Basecamp. You can find out their refund policy, which is written in plain English, not legalese. Basecamp also promises to be around until the end of the internet.
More businesses should be so transparent.
Every company has policies that affect their customers. Mouseprint, a service of Consumer World, often exposes companies that hide the fine print in their policies. The list includes many major organizations that make it difficult to get refunds or companies that don’t disclose financial affiliations. Kohl’s had a policy that said shoppers gave up their right to sue, just by walking through the doors.
Take a page out of Basecamp’s playbook and be transparent with your customers. Have a refund policy that is easily understandable and doesn’t give your business the upper hand. Be up front about your policies. Customers appreciate information and transparency.