A recent Accenture Competitive Agility Index study offers a remarkable finding. “As our research shows, mishandling trust can negatively and substantially impact growth and profitability. The bottom line on trust? It’s intrinsically tied to your bottom line. If your company wants to claim true competitiveness, trust must be a critical input and output to your company’s strategy,” states the report.
The study included 7,000 companies in 20 industries and 4 million data points. The authors summed it up this way: “In the not-too-distant past, trust was considered a “soft” corporate issue. Its connection to a company’s value was always there, but unclear. Not anymore. New Accenture Strategy research quantifies the impact of trust on your company’s competitiveness. And bottom line. Trust is anything but soft.”
In other words, distrust isn’t just a big company problem. Distrust of customer service staff, those who perform repairs, all types of technicians, and, of course salespeople.
Just read the Yelp reviews, particularly those with one or two stars in just about any industry. Complaints about a well-known jeans marketer make the point. Some begin by praising a product and then launch into an inferior fabric change that undermines trust. In the home improvement field, customers feel betrayed by a salesperson, the quality of the work performed, or the failure to take responsibility. Most seem disappointed rather than angry. “I’ll never use them again,” is the common refrain.
To repeat the point of the Accenture study, “Trust is anything but soft.”