consumer loyalty

Recently, Facebook quietly unrolled a new feature called “page integrity”. This allows users to see recent activity, updates, and modifications to a business page. In an era in which privacy is everything and the integrity of businesses is often called into question, transparency is a very important attribute.

Transparency is tricky, too. Not every business is at liberty to disclose details of its dealings, depending on the regulation of the industry it operates in and the sensitivity of any internal processes. Let’s keep it simple, then, and use a business that provides a food delivery service as an example.

Transparency & Disclosure

Every service usually has an associated fee that comes with utilizing it. For a food delivery business, this involves fees such as delivery charges, convenience fees, or miscellaneous fees such as small orders or longer delivery distance.

Let’s say that this business puts out an advertising campaign promoting a free delivery promotion. Customers flock to the app, excited to use their promo codes, only to be surprised when they’re hit by a slew of “other” fees. They’re turned off by this unpleasant surprise, even if these fees are completely standard, and exit out of their order, electing to just cook dinner that night.

The business could have easily avoided this issue by disclosing the potential for miscellaneous fees at the outset. Sure, not every user will read any fine print, but simply adding a small “other fees may apply” tagline could set a more realistic expectation for customers rather than relying only on the promise of free delivery.

The same concept can be applied to any sort of “fine print” that needs to be disclosed. Any policies or procedures that may affect a customer experience should be available for their viewing at any time. By not “hiding” things from customers, a business can build trust through the concept of transparency.

Respecting User Data

Privacy and protection of user data has never been more forefront in consumer discussion as it is now. What a business does with any user data collected is important to achieving and retaining consumer loyalty.

If a customer opts in for an email marketing list, for example, a business should not sell or give away that information to a third party. If they do plan to do so, this needs to be disclosed. If a customer opts in and then begins receiving third party emails, they will quickly lose all respect for the business that collected the email to begin with.

User data should be safeguarded and encrypted where possible, and any uses of data should be disclosed to the customer. This simple but often overlooked concept is important to maintaining consumer trust, particularly in today’s age of privacy.

Operating with transparency is important for any business, no matter how big or small. While of course some businesses will not legally be able to disclose everything, the importance of protecting user data, disclosing policies such as fees, and overall operating with integrity will do a lot to gain and keep customer loyalty and trust. Those are two of the most important parts of any business success, and this is something that a marketer can help with by correctly disclosing necessary information.

-5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.