This includes four key elements:
- Safety: Good sellers offer safe products and services, which requires avoiding an over-emphasis on cost-cutting and profits.
- Reciprocity: This requires consistency, creativity, and fulfilling promises by delivering the products that a company says it will.
- Honest communication: Good sellers reveal what their products are made of, how they’re made, and how they operate and should be used. Problems are communicated to customers promptly and not covered up. Transparency creates trust among customers, leading to competitive advantage.
- Restraint: Good sellers avoid “crossing the line” toward corporate greed or invasive marketing. Companies that do cross the line are increasingly viewed disdainfully by consumers.
The elements of being a good company are mutually reinforcing. For example, good employers can more easily be good sellers due to their base of loyal employees committed to the company’s interests, including the provision of excellent customer service.
On our Good Company Index, we use customized data provided to us by research firm wRatings, which surveys customers of over 4,000 companies on their evaluations of seventeen elements of their interactions with sellers. Our “Good Seller” rating from wRatings included three elements that reflect the factors listed above: quality, fair price, and trust.