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December 4, 2017

Why Transparency Matters to Customers

Being transparent enhances multi-channel experiences and enables agility.


Today’s digital-savvy consumers are used to getting the information they want, when and where they want it. They prefer doing their own research on products and services. And, when they make a decision, they want it delivered quickly and seamlessly, with visibility into the entire process.

In short, they want transparency.

Harvard Business School research on customer response to waiting reveals simply showing people what is taking so long — rather than reducing the wait time — results in higher customer satisfaction.

As Michael Norton and Ryan Buell write in the Harvest Business Review, “This holds true even when what’s shown is merely the appearance of effort. What we term the labor illusion — a demonstration of effort, whether literal or not, expended to meet the customer’s request — can be so effective, in fact, that many customers who endure waits but see a running tally of tasks end up happier than those who don’t have to wait at all.”

One company that’s done an exceptional job delivering on consumer expectations for transparent, multi-channel experiences is the pizza chain Domino’s. Domino’s Anyware allows customers to order pizza through any of the following channels: Google Home, Alexa, Slack, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, text, the Domino’s Zero Click app, a voice-activated expert within the Domino’s app, and even smart cars and TVs. Once the order is placed, the Domino’s Tracker gives customers visibility into the progress of their order with real-time updates.

Transparency is also key to Denim’s approach to the customer experience. For example, we’ve simplified the process of building social media and mobile ad campaigns so much, it takes just five easy steps. A progress bar lets our users know exactly where they are in the process and how little effort is left to launch a campaign.

We also value transparency in our interactions with our customers. This comes in the form of open dialogue and a tight feedback loop. We proactively seek out feedback from our customers so we can understand their pain points and determine how to best solve for them. We believe transparency breeds trust and trust breeds agility — one of the benefits of working with an early-stage company like Denim.

As agility expert and author Rick Freedman writes in The Agile Consultant: Guiding Clients to Enterprise Agility, “As in the stock markets, price discovery and product information are now transparent to the customer… This transparency, of course, is the perfect catalyst for agility. Companies that can use this flow of data to understand the needs and desires of their marketplace, and make small, incremental changes to products in order to be responsive, have a deep competitive advantage. In fact, responsiveness to customer needs has overtaken sheer efficiency as a market differentiator.”

Indeed, companies that make transparency a strategic priority in their multi-channel customer journey will be more agile, responsive, and competitive.

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