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Three views of transparency

Lately I’ve been wondering if customers expect or want more engagement with a company after taking the time to share their open, honest, and candid feedback through a survey. Specifically, I wonder if customers want access to more specific information regarding the feedback and the plans for improvement. As I continue to ponder this, one unavoidable question becomes, how transparent are we willing to be with the feedback we collect from our customers?

When considering transparency, it is natural to consider the associated risk. When considering transparency and risk, three different schools of thought emerge. Some believe that greater transparency causes more risk. Others say there is more risk with no transparency. The U-curve combines these scenarios.


I believe we must be more transparent when it comes to sharing customer feedback with our customers. But, I also agree that there are some limits. We owe it to our customers to provide specific information related to the feedback we gathered. And, when we make improvements we should remind our customers that the improvements are a result of their feedback. This continuous reinforcement of what we’re learning and how we’re responding will reinforce our customer commitment.

What do you think? How transparent should we be and what is the associated risk?

Note: This post was originally published in Customer Connection on 4/27/2009.

About the Author

Leslie Pagel

Leslie Pagel

As vice president of customer experience, Leslie is responsible for incorporating the voice of Walker’s customers into the solutions development process. To do this, Leslie spends the majority of her time interacting with Walker account teams, clients, and prospective clients to understand their business challenges. She coordinates several listening posts that are used to drive strong client relationships and enhance our consulting and technology capabilities.

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