Businesses can learn ‘lesson in trust’ from financial sector
Businesses looking to build trust with customers should take a leaf from the much-maligned financial services sector and implement trust-based e-strategies.
That is the view of e-business strategists at e-marketing consultancy Echo E-Business, whose chief strategist Deborah Collier, urges businesses to look to the financial sector for best practice for brand building and trust.
“Almost every sector has been affected by the credit crunch and ensuing recession, and unsurprisingly, financial markets have suffered more than most,” says Collier. “Inevitably, these worries have knocked both consumer and stakeholder confidence. For both the investment and retail banking sectors, the imperative for speed has been replaced with a need for clear reporting and real-time transparency.”
Collier claims that user trust has to be at the forefront of any e-business strategy and whilst it is particularly pertinent to the financial services industry, she also believes it has direct relevance to other sectors.
“As the financial climate has changed, so have the priorities of customers and stakeholders. Brand reality is entirely based on your customer’s perception and if planned, built and managed well, a web site can make a small business look like a mini-John Lewis. A website is like having your shop window in every living room in the country and customers need real-time access to the crucial information to allay their fears over the economy and ensure their trust is sustained,” said Collier.
According to Collier, PricewaterhouseCoopers’ reaction to the Pre-Budget Report of November 2008 is a great example of how multimedia can be used to deliver information with speed and precision. They delivered pre-and post-speech analysis through a wide range of channels, including video podcasts and email alerts through their Newsletter Management System. Similarly, when a large financial services company was forced to seek bankruptcy protection, they hosted an online Q&A session to ensure the right information got to the right people quickly.
“Pricewaterhouse Coopers’ online strategy is a good case study of how to stay ahead of the game when it comes to E-Business. By using a trust based business e-model, and by improving customer and stakeholder relationships, businesses across all sectors will be better placed to survive the economic turmoil,” she added.