All customers, weather it is B2C or B2B, like to buy from a service provider who are considered honest and have integrity. In fact, it is almost text book, to say this is the best way for any organization to achieve long-term success.
So the rule is; if your conduct is exemplary, either with your family, in your community or at work, the more people will trust you. It is your level of honesty and integrity that earns you respect, so in business; the same principle that help build are reputation with your customers and with anyone.
Let us explore this a bit. Suppose that I make visit to a business for a meeting, while I am there, the phone rings. I hear the manager, who ordered his employee to answer and tell him "Say that I am not there, and I will be a back in a hour”. That would be considered dishonest, but you will most likely find that 60%, if not higher, of managers have in some form been in this situation. But the fact is that they could have easily have said “Say that I am unavailable, for the moment, but if he calls back in an hour, I will take his call”. Most people would consider this a white lie, so kind of acceptable, because the person, at the other end most likely will accept and call back.
Now consider hearing the same manager ordering his employee to answer "Say that I am not there, and you do know when I will be back". Witnessing this lie on his part, creates doubts about his moral values will settle in my mind, and confidence in him will decrease. Moreover, the person on the other end might feel that he is not important.
Now consider yourself; do you have a level of honesty and integrity above average people? If you are a business-man or woman, who communicates with customers, where do you draw the line? Is the white lie acceptable? If you start to take the perspective of the customer, you might just aim to aim for a high level of integrity and honesty. You will find that your results will increase, maybe not short-term, but certainly in the long-term.
In today's market, owning a high standard of transparency is a competitive advantage. This is not only because of the honesty and integrity that you will be successful, but without them, it will be difficult to get a foothold in the market. Your customers are constantly testing your righteousness and if they have any doubt, they will hesitate to do more business with you, without you knowing why.
You cannot fool anyone even if it is a little. Whatever the reasons, it is unwise to tell lies to a customer or another person. Strive to always respect a high level of morality, regardless of the consequences. It is possible that you are short-term loser, but you will leave long-term winner.
In my next blog, I will address some of the difficulties situations that I have been faced with while dealing with customers and service providers. I will draw comparison from different parts of the world in an effort to start a debate.