Each touchpoint in a customer’s engagements with a retailer is meaningful and impactful—each potentially leading to a better or worse relationship—helping or hurting a business in the long run. While a company yearns for loyal customers, customers, in turn, expect businesses to be loyal to them. How a business’ public-facing employees treat people can make the difference in whether or not they will trust them with their business again.
The pandemic has afforded businesses the opportunity to build trust and demonstrate to their customers that they are trustworthy. According to a recent Trust in US Business Survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), “both employees and customers report higher trust in US businesses now than before the pandemic began.” The survey also revealed that 49% of consumers either started purchasing or purchased more from a company because of trust.
So, what are the factors people look at when determining if a business is trustworthy or not? The top four factors in order of importance are 1) protecting data and cybersecurity, 2) treating employees well, 3) practicing ethical business practices, and 4) admitting to mistakes. One of the most challenging factors in action is admitting mistakes, and concealment usually leads to compounded negative press. One of the best examples happened in 2010 with the BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
In an interview on the NRF’s Retail Gets Real Podcast, Barbra Bukovac, Vice-Chair of Consumer Markets at PwC US, revealed that being able to admit a mistake is paramount. People can be forgiving, but if a company tries to hide a mistake, it can severely damage trust. Bukovac also encouraged businesses to make known what they are doing about it.