Trust is emerging as a critical influencer of consumer behavior.
Only one in four consumers reportedly trust the companies with which they do business, according to the latest Accenture Global Consumer Research study.
And, over the past year, loss of trust has increased as one of the key reasons behind consumers deciding to change providers in the consumer electronics, retail and tourism industries.
According to the authors of the report, “trust is emerging as a critical influencer of consumer behavior.” In eight of the 10 industries surveyed, 13% to 17% of the respondents mentioned trust as one of the reasons for switching service providers.
The five least trusted industries, in which at least 20% of consumers “do not trust at all,” were (in order): gas & electric utilities, cable and satellite companies, landline phone companies, wireless phone companies, and life insurance providers.
Not a single industry is trusted “very well” by more than one-third of its customers, and none of the 10 industries surveyed had higher “trust very well” scores than a year earlier.
The sixth annual Accenture Global Consumer Survey was conducted in 17 countries, with over 5,800 respondents being asked about their attitudes and behavior towards 10 key industries. For more details on these survey results, see the Keeping Good Customers Blog.
Other surveys reflect similar trends in the trust gap between consumers and business. We wrote a three-part series on these declines about a year ago in the Monday Morning Marketing Memo (send me a note if you would like me to send these three articles to you.)
The declining levels of trust across the globe in businesses and governments dictates that organizational leaders need to focus on regenerating trust with key stakeholders and constituencies.
This is more than just a marketing problem; it needs to rapidly become a Boardroom concern before it becomes a Boardroom problem of epic proportion.
On the other hand, building trust with consumers and your customer base is definitely a strategic marketing opportunity, since so few consumers find their service providers trustworthy.
What are your thoughts on how businesses can re-build trust with consumers?