Ethically serving your client is a basic principle. All companies have a code of conduct that guides how they do business and interact with their customers (internal and external).
According to a 2019 study by the insurance company, 41% of millennial consumers prefer to buy from ethical companies. Another important fact presented in the same survey was that 77% of American consumers prefer to buy from companies concerned about “making the world a better place.”
But what does it mean to be ethical and treat your clients ethically? What is ethics in customer service? We will discuss these issues below, in addition to giving you tips for implementing a business ethics plan and discussing the benefits that this can bring to your company.
What is ethics?
By definition, ethics is the area of philosophy that questions the customs and morals of a society. Ethics seeks to establish what is right and wrong, moderately differentiating good and evil, but always using arguments.
The concept of ethics is often confused with that of morality. Despite being closely related, ethics and morals are not synonymous. In short, morality is the set of habits and customs appropriate to society. At the same time, ethics is a philosophy of morality, a study of how society behaves.
These concepts can be a bit complex. Therefore, we will show you the concept of ethics in business practice.
What is business ethics?
Business ethics is the set of values and moral principles of a company about the community where it operates. Therefore, an ethical company practices social conventions but goes further and cares about the demands and needs of society, especially those of its customers.
Business ethics deserve attention. A company that demonstrates transparency, credibility, and responsibility gains the respect and trust of consumers. Practicing business ethics, then, can attract more clients and investors. We’ll talk more about the benefits of business ethics below.
The benefits of developing an ethical business
. Applying business ethics in your business can bring great benefits:
. It makes your employees have more responsible attitudes;
. Values honest behavior at all levels of the company;
. Ensures that the company seeks results and solutions that serve consumers;
. Keeps confidential customer data safe ;
. Create a fair and pleasant environment for officials;
. Encourage teams to meet deadlines and work with honesty and integrity;
. It makes your employees and consumers loyal to your company.
How to put business ethics into practice
How to make your company more ethical? We have listed 4 steps to put this very important concept into practice:
. Establish your values
The first step to putting business ethics into practice is to know in detail the organization’s values and incorporate them. In general, these values are intrinsic to the mission and vision of the company. They should be communicated to employees at all levels of the company.
. Lead by example
Being a role model for your employees is the most effective way to spread ethical behavior in your company. Your behavior will directly influence the people closest to you and, in turn, will also be role models for their employees. For example, if one of your values is transparency, always be honest with all employees and ask them to be honest with you.
. Identify ethical dilemmas and be prepared.
It is not difficult to identify what are the sensitive points in the values and attitudes of your employees. The ethical dilemmas of your company, in general, are linked to buying, downsizing, hiring, firing, promotions, or calculating bonuses.
Knowing this, prepare to face difficult situations in the best possible way, taking into account the company’s ethical principles; again, if transparency is an important value to your business, if you fire an employee, be honest about the reasons that led to their leaving the company.
. Be brave
This point is specifically important for leaders. If you occupy that position, you can often doubt the decisions you make. Even if it is the right decision, it can have unpleasant consequences.
Suppose you consider your company’s ethical principles, values , and vision and believe in them. In that case, you will make decisions with more courage and confidence.
One of the companies most famous for its code of ethics is Best Buy. With new standards, the multinational electronics company updated its mission, principles, and values, creating a practical manual with guidelines and real examples of the sales operation. With this information in hand, salespeople feel more confident and perform better in any situation.
Ethics for marketing
All company departments must be integrated into the business ethics project, but marketing has a very specific role. In addition to creating internal actions to share company values among employees (internal marketing), the marketing department has the mission of making morally correct decisions, taking into account the social scope of its actions.
The American Marketing Association (AMA) and the Institute of Advertising Ethics (IAE) have implemented codes of ethics for marketing that serve as a guide for any company that wants to disclose it responsibly and transparently. Take a look at the main points:
. Marketing communications must be based on truth and integrity;
. Marketing professionals must act appropriately;
. Advertising must be clearly distinguished from the news or educational content;
. Marketers should strive to ensure that their actions comply with the company’s stakeholders, such as investors, suppliers, and customers;
. Marketing actions must comply with the laws of each country.
5 “sins” ethical customer service can’t commit
A paper business ethics plan is worthless if it is not applied to customer service. After all, customers are the ones who need to know the quality of your company to be a loyal brand.
Your business is unethical if:
. Does not meet delivery deadlines: this compromises your relationship of trust with the client, who stops believing in what you promise;
. Your customer is poorly served: a poorly served consumer does not return. And they will not recommend your company to friends and on their social networks;
. Offer low-quality products: put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Wouldn’t you feel cheated if you found out that the product you bought is not as good as it looked?;
. Create ads that do not match reality: Be honest with your consumer. Always tell the truth about your product, without increasing the qualities or hiding possible deficiencies;
. It does not have an efficient after-sales service: having a conversation with your customer keeps him loyal to your company.
Facilitate contact with your customers through:
. Social messaging
. SMS and voice
. Live chat and embedded support.
Let customers directly consult the knowledge base’s content through a personalized Help Center, mobile and adaptable for your business.