It is one of the most common things in business—as in the rest of life—to want what we want. As adults, we generally accept the fact that we can't always get what we want, but it doesn't mean that we don't keep wanting. Unfortunately, there are times in business when our wants may run contrary to the wants of our customers. Then what?
Increasingly, customers want "real" information about the companies they do business with, i.e. they want the good, the bad and the ugly. They want the unvarnished truth. They think they can be trusted with all of the information, and they think they are capable of sifting through the irrelevant, the fabrications and the exaggerations, and making sound decisions.
Unfortunately, too often, business people want to control the information. They want to polish the facts. They want to protect their image. They want to manage the relationship... on their terms. Therein lies the rub. Customers want just the opposite.
As a business person, if you find yourself wanting to filter the information your customers receive; if you are tempted to varnish over the truth; if you find yourself trying to cover up the evidence of your mistakes; if you start believing that you know better than your customers do regarding what they "really" need, you're almost certainly headed down the wrong path. And it is extremely likely that you're headed towards long-term financial difficulties.
Today's business requires a new kind of transparency... a new kind of openness. You might sometimes try relinquishing control. There is little doubt that you can't always get what you want—but if you try, sometimes you might find you get what you need!