New research released today from Qualtrics, the leaders in customer experience and creators of the experience management category, outlines the biggest drivers of brand trust following the COVID-19 pandemic, and how consumers want to be engaged with. Findings from the study provide a framework helping brands build and keep trust and confidence at this uncertain time through effective and meaningful actions.
The Qualtrics research – based on 330 responses from across the Philippines – revealed brand actions during a crisis are essential to cultivating trust. Almost 9 in 10 respondents (88%) said brand actions in a time of crisis have a major or significant impact on their trust. Only 1% said they had no impact at all.
As businesses begin to plan their response to the crisis and map future marketing, brand, and advertising campaigns, the study identifies the key actions they should take. Findings reveal more than 90% of people believe it’s important for brands to take care of their employees and customers, and to not take advantage of the crisis to maximise profits.
A similar sentiment showed when respondents were asked what behaviours increase trust during the crisis. Not taking advantage of a crisis to maximise profits was the top ranked attribute (39%), followed by taking care of customers, and maintaining reasonable pricing (both 34%). What respondents found less impactful were providing new products and services tailored to the crisis (14%), or even statements about strong moral principles (12%).
“While the operational impact of the lockdown measures in place across the Philippines is temporary, their influence on consumer attitudes and behaviours will be long lasting. As people’s priorities continue to shift in response to the pandemic, and their media consumption habits change too, they will look for brands they can trust and whose qualities align with their own,” said Lisa Khatri, Brand Experience and Research Lead for Qualtrics in Asia Pacific and Japan..
“Having high levels of trust means consumers can feel confident in choosing to engage with your brand. That’s why the businesses that successfully navigate this new reality will do so by keeping a real-time pulse on market behaviours and perception, and by identifying the brand qualities people value most right now. Using these insights, businesses can find their competitive advantage in this new reality by taking action on the issues having the biggest impact,” added Khatri.
To help businesses understand the drivers of brand trust and focus actions on the most relevant actions to consumers, Qualtrics launched the free solution The COVID-19 Brand Trust Pulse. It is part of a range of free offerings launched by the experience management company since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which have supported more than 31,000 projects across more than 8,500 organisations.
The most recent additions to the free offerings are a Back to Business and Return to Work solution designed to help organisations stay connected with customers and employees, understand their expectations and preferences, and take actions to build confidence as businesses reopen their doors.
Identifying the right message and medium
When it comes to brand communications, people in the Philippines are interested in the operational impact of COVID-19. The top messages respondents wanted to hear were how the business is responding to the crisis (71%), information on products and services (52%), how they are treating employees (42%), as well as sales and promotion emails (42%).
During the pandemic, the Qualtrics study also revealed the extent to which people are moving online to digital channels. Two-thirds (67%) said their use of online banking had increased with a similar amount (63%) saying they are buying more online.
This shift to online is represented in findings revealing how people want brands to communicate with them. Facebook came out on top as the most preferred communication channel (86%), followed by online media (54%), and email (50%). Bottom of the list was WeChat (3%), TikTok, Whatsapp, and Print Media (all 8%),
“Speed to insights is fundamental for brands to move forward in these uncertain times. Businesses need robust and agile platforms empowering them to listen to the expectations and needs of customers and employees in real-time, and then take meaningful action to engage them in the ways and moments that matter most. This approach actively demonstrates the value brands bring to keep consumer attention in rapidly changing markets,” said Khatri.
For more information on Qualtrics please visit: https://www.qualtrics.com/.