What ethics hotline buyers say they want...and what they really mean.

I love HBR. Can't get enough. A recent Article "The B2B Elements of Value" by Almquist, Cleghorn and Sherer was another gem. It was revealing research about the divergence between what customers say is important and the actual reasons they become (and stay) customers.

Often, when discussing ethics hotlines and risk management with perspective buyers of our ethics hotline service we hear keywords like "cost", "dashboard analytics" and "security." All are, of course, important. As we evolve the relationship with our customers around our new ethics hotline app, however, it quickly becomes apparent that what is really important is (no surprise here) building trust with the individual stakeholders and being a true partner in the process of change management.

When it comes to discussing NWFC™ with prospects, getting to a shared understanding that workforce preferences re: incident reporting has evolved and that apps and machine learning are new value drivers is pretty straightforward. Building genuine value in the business relationship itself - supporting the buyer as an individual who has their own risks, stakeholders and professional reputation to consider is, however, our real goal. That's where the new value of our system meets up with traditional value we place on a respectful and valuable relationship between buyer and seller. Bottom line, if providers are not adding value to both the organization and the individual stakeholder(s), then appreciate that what is being bought and sold is a short-term "check the box" solution. That may work o.k. for a while, but it won't meet expectations in the long term. Given the massive stakes at play with ethics and compliance reporting, is that a risk you are really willing to take?