NEWS13 March 2018

MRS Delphi Group launches trust report

Data analytics News Privacy Technology Trends UK

UK ­– MRS’s think tank, The Delphi Group, has released a new report investigating how technology is affecting consumer trust in brands.  

Trust in technology has been dented in recent years with several high-profile data breaches putting businesses under increasing scrutiny about how they collect, store and use their customers’ data. 

Great Expectations: How technology impacts consumer trust draws on research from Kantar TNS and Lightspeed Research which found that data security is the most influential factor when determining consumer trust – a significant change from when dependable service was enough to secure loyalty.

The research identifies the main drivers of trust across key sectors – telecoms, banks, retailers, fashion retail, media, transport and pubic services.

The report has created a hierarchy of trust ordering consumer expectations, based on the insight – covering issues of transparency, control, relevance, security and fulfilment.   

At the top of the hierarchy, i.e. the factor with the most influence, was consumers’ expectation that their ‘information is completely secure’ while assurance that ‘my participation will never put me at personal risk’ was also one of the top five drivers.

Consumer expectation that companies ‘provide a dependable service’ and ‘always offer high standards of customer service’ rank second and third.

Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide, BT, Tesco, John Lewis, Amazon and the NHS are among the strongest performers in this area.  

The report also draws on case studies from several organisations for whom trust is particularly important and concludes with a 12-step programme that brands and businesses can follow to build trust.

Phil Sutcliffe, director of offer and innovation at Kantar TNS, said: “It’s clear that three things are crucial for brands. First, that providing guarantees on data security is paramount. Second, that transparency about how data is being used is important to reassure people that they are not being taken advantage of, or worse, put at risk. 

“Third, that providing utility remains critical for brands to build enduring, trusted relationships.  There is commercial advantage to be found if brands can use technology and the data it generates to improve the quality of goods and services.”

Jane Frost, chief executive officer of Market Research Society (MRS) added: “There are already examples of brands using technology to enhance loyalty – Amazon received the highest average marks across all of our consumer trust expectations. This is because users don’t feel the rub when personalisation kicks in, the data exchange is frictionless and results in an efficient service that customers can rely on – making it worth it.”