Accountability is, to coin a phrase (and cover young ears), all about ‘owning your shit’.

It is also the 6th characteristic that service-based businesses need to demonstrate in order to convert prospects to customers. (You can catch up here if you want to know more about the other 5!).

In our modern, transparent world, nothing businesses do can be kept secret, and savvy clients will actively seek and select service providers who demonstrate good values and operate in a morally responsible way. For better or worse, this means you need to be a grown-up about how you do business. Acting like you don’t care about the health of your database, and aren’t protecting your data, just doesn’t cut the mustard in 2020.

Consumers are actively looking to interact with, and buy from, companies that are accountable for their actions. Whether you are trying to set a standard for sustainability, or take ownership for the quality of your products and services, you need to ensure that you are accountable for the wider impact that your business has on your community.

If you fail to include a suitable level of accountability both in your marketing communications, and in the underlying way you do business, you might find that you aren’t converting prospects into clients, or, worse, you are losing clients to your competitors.

So, how can you help your prospects to recognise that you are a responsible business?

Use our checklist to figure out whether you are communicating a responsible approach to business, or not:

1) Do you provide names, contact details and even pictures of the management team on your website and in other marketing materials? Clear communication means being very transparent about who is in charge and showing the faces behind the names – and making it as simple as possible for your clients, prospects and suppliers to get in touch with the right person at your business in the event of a query or complaint

2) Are your GDPR practices and other legal obligations up to date? Are you showing this by providing reasonable contracts, cookie policies, privacy policies, terms & conditions, etc? Showing that you are compliant with the most up to date legal requirements communicates to your audience that they can trust you.

3) If you have any industry standards compliance, or professional body memberships, are they listed on your website and marketing materials? Using the logo and name of a recognisable body for your industry will instantly communicate responsibility and kudos.

4) How good are you in a crisis? Do you have policies in place for dealing with mistakes made by your company and making reparations? Having a crisis management policy shows that you are prepared to ‘own’ any potential dramas and take responsibility for the effect that your business has on its community.

5) Is your business taking steps to become sustainable? Sustainability is a huge buzzword amongst big corporations right now, but small companies can take steps to reduce pollution and waste too, and share that they are doing this with their audiences. We, for example, recently decided to dramatically reduce the amount of paper that we use to report in to our clients.

6) Are you measuring delivery and customer satisfaction of your clients? Keeping on top of some key measures of customer satisfaction is a great way to show accountability to your customer base. If you are surveying and measuring their experience, it shows you care, and this matters to your clients.

So there, we have it. All 6 characteristics that service-based businesses need to demonstrate covered. Did you get a gold star for Accountability? And, did you get 6 gold stars for Good Foundations? We’d love to know how you scored. Share a comment below.

If you would like to catch up on the other 5, here they are again, with links to the previous blog posts.

Clarity
Identity
Credibility
Tangibility
Dependability

And, if you’d like us to conduct a review of your business to assess any potential reasons why you aren’t converting prospects to customers, drop us a line here, we’d love to help.