A recent USA Today poll revealed that 72% of people will pay more to use the services and products of a company they perceive to be ethical. An easy example of this for consumer products is the higher prices that consumers pay at eco-friendly stores like WholeFoods. For service-based businesses, think of the movement of customers away from the megabanks who charged hidden fees and left customers navigating though a labyrinth of automated phone systems to credit unions and community banks where a real person answers the phone with a sincere interest in your situation.
These are examples of how the perception of ethical business practices can make a difference. It reflects the impact of emotionally satisfied customers. People feel better about themselves when they believe they are dealing with an organization that cares about "doing the right thing".
By optimizing the key performance drivers of value creation, you can successfully tap the emotional bonds of your customer relationships. This takes the right people, the right process, the right leadership, and the right commitment. The investment your company makes in enabling and aligning your team with the skills, attitudes, beliefs and values that develop loyal customers will enrich your core business and provide new opportunities to gain customers and market share. Stay engaged and stay ethical in your customer relationships and you will transform your business.