To truly unlock the value of digitalization, authenticity must be put front and center of every customer experience.
It is a challenging paradox, that the very source of value in the digital age—data—is also becoming the biggest source of risk. On the one hand, enterprises must embrace technology to bring innovative, convenient and customized experiences to their customers, using data-driven business models. On the other hand, delivering these experiences means gathering increasingly personal customer data, raising issues of privacy, security and ethics.
As a result, trust is increasingly becoming the yardstick for measuring customer loyalty, employee engagement, maintaining competitive advantage and, importantly, securing credibility with regulators and investors.
A “must-have” in the digital economy
Customers are becoming increasingly aware of the value their data generates for companies and they are willing to share data, as long as it results in favorable outcomes for themselves. And increasingly employees want to work for companies that reflect and uphold their own values and ethical standards. The risk of losing the trust of these two key stakeholders is nothing short of lethal for businesses.
Results of the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer underscore the benefits enjoyed by businesses that invest in building and maintaining trust.
The survey found that employees who trust their employers show greater advocacy (71%), loyalty (78%), engagement (74%) and commitment (81%). Moreover, 78% of respondents say that how a company treats their employees is one of the best indicators of its trustworthiness.
Trust is not just important for new businesses but also for large incumbents that are using data in new ways as they transform digitally. A majority of respondents (67%) said that a good reputation may get them to try a product, but if they can’t trust the company behind the product they will stop buying. While digital transformation is an imperative in today’s marketplace, companies with significant legacy brands must be careful of the risks and focus on building long-term value.
Trust then, is a “must-have” in the data-driven digital economy, making it a critical core competency for enterprises looking to gain an advantage in today’s ferociously competitive climate for customers and talent.