A business choice: Confide or hide.

Here are two common communication choices when it comes to your customers.

You can choose to say little to nothing about changes in your services, operating practices and costs. Or you can be honest and share the truth without couching.

Example A: Take the service provider Lawton Gallagher Group has used for eight years. We noticed a jump in our monthly charges from this local company, coupled with a lapse in billing for their services, so the increased charges included a six-month backlog. No explanation, no warning that their pricing had changed, and no thanks or apology. We’ve come to expect this from the big utilities, phone services companies and conglomerates that jack up pricing without a whisper, hoping you won’t notice and complain about rate increases.

Example B: The opposite occurred with another Lawton Gallagher vendor whom we have worked with for the past 15+ years. We received an upfront communiqué from this company, alerting us that after six years of consistent charges, their prices in 2016 were increasing. The letter stated the facts why this decision was necessary, thanked us for being loyal customers, and invited us to be in contact with any questions. How many of your vendors take the time to confide?

Not difficult to guess which company we’ll be sticking with and which we will replace.

Taking risks and making changes is all part of being in business. It doesn’t pay in the long run to avoid difficult conversations. Go with the truth, backed by sound reasoning, and a healthy dose of appreciation.

Your customers will be yours for keeps.