Level of trust with organizations shows further decline – Customer Loyalty

According to the Edelman 2012 Trust Barometer the levels of trust with companies has shown a drop from 56 to 53 %. The trust in CEO’s has dropped by 12 points to 38%. I am not surprised by this. It seems that too many companies are prepared to do whatever it takes to gain business. We are all well versed in the antics of the banks and other industries and I wrote about further examples in my blog ‘When household names lie and cheat’.

I am still surprised how some companies think that starting their relationship by lying to you is a good idea! For example, I have just received an email from a company that I won’t name. They provide ‘a forum for business leaders from highly targeted business-to-business communities for strategic collaboration and business development’ in the business to business world.

Their email states:

We have a few spots remaining for our ‘xxx Conversation interviews’ this month and would like to feature you or one of your executives. This would be no cost to you and part of a partnership. 

What does that say to you? No cost, right? Or am I blind? On contacting the company they informed me that the interviews are part of a sponsorship package so we would have to pay.

Clearly this is just a well worded email with the intent to trick you into thinking that something is free. They want me to contact them and then they believe their sales skills will be able to overcome your disappointment that you have been conned and sell you something. This company was sadly mistaken with me. I find it amazing they consider this a good way to start a relationship.

As I was considering this I watched the recent presidential debates. I was amazed to see one candidate articulate an agreement and a ‘fact’. In many cases the other candidate said ‘that is not true’. One of them was right, I guess, but how can you tell who? Is this the right way to start off a relationship with their customers, the electorate? This is not just an issue in the US, but certainly in the UK and I am sure elsewhere. Little surprise then that the Edelman trust barometer shows a decline of 9% in trust of government, to 43% – a record decline.

Trust is a basic human emotion that needs nurturing to form a relationship and build customer loyalty. It begins with telling the truth, and not ‘tricking’ customers or the electorate with clever words.

Colin Shaw

Colin Shaw is founder & CEO of Beyond Philosophy, one of the world’s first organizations devoted to customer experience. Colin is an international author of four best-selling books. Beyond Philosophy provide consulting, specialised research & training from offices in Atlanta, Georgia and London, England.

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