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7 Reasons Why Integrity Is Important in Customer Service and In the Workplace

A Stronger Reputation

In the business world, reputation is everything. Suppliers need to trust you to pay them for the goods they deliver. Investors need to trust you to put their money to good use and deliver a profitable, sustainable business. For employees, customers, business partners and everyone else you have contact with, trust is essential.

If you act with integrity, people will trust you, and word will spread faster than any advertising campaign you could ever come up with. Similarly, a lack of integrity will scupper your reputation.

So acting with integrity will allow you to reap the benefits from better relationships with the people you deal with.

Employee Satisfaction

Most people want to do a good job, and they’ll be happier working for someone with integrity than for someone who asks them to compromise their own principles.

So if you want happier, healthier, more engaged employees, acting with integrity is an undervalued but powerful way to achieve that.


Acting with integrity often means producing a better product or service for the customer. For example, let’s say that tests reveal a serious weakness in your flagship product, just when it’s selling like hot cakes. You might be tempted to keep on selling it anyway, but that would mean short-changing your customers by providing an inferior product.

A leader with integrity would explain the situation, fix the problem, and ship the product only when it’s of acceptable quality. This is just one example, but in general, acting with integrity is likely to lead to better quality products and services because you’re acting in accordance with your values and principles, and few people really believe in putting out shoddy work.

Long-Term Outlook

As we’ve seen, there’s a theme developing in which there’s often a trade-off between short-term wins and long-term success, and behaving with integrity is usually aligned with the long-term outlook.

Whatever business you’re in, you’re often presented with the chance to cut corners and/or avoid problems by behaving dishonestly. Doing the right thing, on the other hand, can lead to more problems initially, but it usually pays off in the end. We’ve seen a few examples of that already.

Business is a long-term endeavor, and successful companies are usually those with a strong long-term outlook and vision. So acting with integrity can help you to focus on getting the best results five years from now instead of five minutes from now.

Clearer Focus

As Sir Walter Scott wrote back in 1808:

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave When first we practice to deceive!”

Lying and cheating can take up a lot of energy and time. You’re presenting different faces to different people, and you’ve got to keep track of which story you’ve told and how to keep it all consistent, and then you’ve got to tell more lies and manufacture more evidence to back up your original lie, and so on.

Acting with integrity, on the other hand, frees up all that energy and lets you focus on what’s important instead of spending time covering your tracks.

Better Company Culture

If you lead by example and act with integrity, that’ll spread throughout the company. We already saw that integrity is good for employee satisfaction but think about your employees’ performance too.

If you’ve got a culture of integrity in your company, your employees will make better decisions, with the long-term interests of your customers and the company in mind. They’ll be able to trust each other, which will have huge benefits for collaboration and teamwork and will minimize costly disputes.

How do you create such a culture? We’ll look at that in the final section, and you can also check this tutorial:

Stronger Sales

Ethical considerations are important for many customers these days. In the UK, the Ethical Purchases market was valued at £98 billion in 2019, more than double the size of the market in 2010.

Many companies have tried to tap into this market with glossy advertising and self-serving “greenwash”. A more effective way is to embed ethical behavior in your company, truly acting with integrity and spreading that culture throughout your business. Do that, and you’ll attract new customers who will in turn spread the word to like-minded people.

How to Act With Integrity in Business

Now that we’ve seen why integrity is important, let’s look at how to put it into practice on a personal level, in your team, and across your whole company.

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Define Your Moral Principles

As we saw at the beginning, integrity is about being true to your moral principles. But many of us don’t think about those principles very often or define them very clearly. So the first step is to do that. What’s important to you? What principles do you want to live by? What does integrity mean to you?

2. Look Back With Honesty

OK, so how are you doing? Are you living up to those principles?

If not, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, try to identify patterns. Do you tend to be influenced by stronger personalities? Tempted by easy money? Pressured by your boss? Make a non-judgmental inventory of your own integrity or lack of integrity in business. Consider asking colleagues if you need an objective viewpoint.

We’re looking at some general strategies for behaving with integrity here, but this self-inventory may help you to come up with a personal action plan based on specific situations in which you know you can do better.

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Treat Everyone the Same

In business, too many people treat others as instruments for their own gain. They give big customers the red-carpet treatment while scorning those with smaller wallets. They curry favour with the boss while shunning the intern.

But remember that integrity is about wholeness, honesty, and being the same person in all situations. If someone works in your company, they make an important contribution and are worthy of respect, regardless of their pay grade. A customer deserves good treatment, even if they can’t afford the big-ticket items right now.

People remember how you treat them, and they notice how you treat others.

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Fun Fact

What year did Rick Hudson begin his plumbing career? Find the answer on our About Us | Plumbing Tulsa | Acts of Service Plumbing! When it comes to finding plumbing professionals with years of experience, you’ll find we are seasoned plumbers!

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