When I think of transparency in terms of how we do business and how we relate to customers, I don't think of it in terms of sharing NDA information. It is more about trying to be as open and honest as you can with customers in terms of decisions and possibly mistakes you've made. Obviously it is easier said than done.
So, just thought you would appreciate an amazing case study on how transparency prevented a customer loyalty disaster even though the mistake this compnay made cost them pretty severely in the service they provided over the short term. The disaster was completely their fault and they fully owned up to it. What is amazing is the overwhelming level of support that their customers gave them and how their customers even rushed to their side when anyone suggested they could have done more like refund them for the service outage.
Read the blog post from Bryce Howard over at SEOMoz. Crawl Outage - An Update and What We're Doing
I was impacted a little, but no biggie. I'll just to wait a few weeks for reports. Sure, they probably will get a little beat up over this, but they can't be beaten up for trying to hide their mistake.
My friend Sean O'Driscoll over at Ants Eye View and I have talked about this topic and I think they agree this is the way you should act if you want people to continue to be loyal to your company. One of his Ants, Todd Shimizu wrote an interesting piece that I found pretty profound. What Your Personal Social Journey Means - Beyond Transparency in Social Media . He said "Don’t be “transparent,” be human. One of the most important lessons I learned from my IPsphere experience is that relationships truly, truly matter – and those can’t be faked. But to move beyond just "transparency" and into something more meaningful, one must also be prepared to accept that relationships are a constant work in progress and they are earned – not something you go out and capture, or own.
So, hopefully, SEOMoz will continue to remain transparent and actually human with their customers and continue to keep winning my trust.
Hope you found this helpful.