Trust has always been an essential part of any business transaction—just ask the Quakers, who built business empires on the basis of fair business practices—but according to a new report from Salesforce, trust is becoming more important than ever before. Salesforce surveyed 13,020 consumers and 3,916 business buyers in 29 different countries to gain an understanding of changing customer expectations and behaviors.
Some key findings include:
- Trust is becoming a key factor for consumers: 88% of consumers believe trust is more important in times of change, and 74% say communicating transparently is more important now than before the pandemic. Moreover, 68% said they trust companies that act with society’s best interests in mind—a 9% increase from 2020.
- Consumers crave the personal touch both online and offline: 88% of customers say the experience a company provides is just as important as its products and services, an 18% increase from 2020. While artificial intelligence solutions might be the key to making personalized experiences happen, customers are still on the fence about their trust in AI: 84% said it could be used for good or for bad, while 60% said they’d have more trust in AI if they could control how it’s used.
- Customers aren’t afraid to walk: 71% of customers switched brands at least once during the past year, a signal that customers want brands to get it right. Two-thirds switched for better deals, and 58% for better product quality.
As Lidiane Jones, EVP of experience at Salesforce, expressed via email:”Trust needs to be the foundation of business for every brand. Consumers are not taking anything–products, values, words–at face value anymore.”