The survey of more than 500 business executives and 1,000 consumers finds that executives acknowledge they have a lot riding on building trust with consumers as they know that trust in a business can strengthen customer loyalty (73%), bolster positive reputation (58%) and drive revenue growth (57%).
Additionally, with 1 in 5 (22% of) employees surveyed admitting they have left a job at a brand due to a lack of trust, about half (52%) of execs recognize the importance of trust to employee retention and recruitment.
Fortunately, execs and consumers see eye-to-eye on the top foundational elements of trust, such as protecting data and cybersecurity, treating employees well, and ethical business practices.
Nevertheless, executives say they face challenges when it comes to building trust with their consumers. Chief among those are diverse stakeholder perspectives (43%; top-3 choices), the current company culture (41%) and the inability to change the supply chain (34%). Some 1 in 5 also cite a lack of clarity as to what customers want as a top-3 challenge to building trust.
These challenges could be leading to gaps in the implementation of some of the key drivers of trust. Even though accountability and clear communication (are cited by consumers, employees and executives as important drivers of trust), only 63% of execs say they have implemented practices to improve communication, and fewer than half (46%) say they have implemented accountability measures.
Likewise, even though data protection is believed to be extremely important to building trust for more than half (57%) of executives — not to mention a key reason for consumers to change brands — only 52% of execs say they have taken action in this regard.
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About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 503 business executives, the majority of whom are employed by US companies. Consumer/employee data is based on a survey of 1,001 consumers, including 873 employees.