The annual Edelman Trust Barometer – a survey measuring trust across a number of institutions, sectors and geographies - has just been launched.
The Trust Barometer surveys more than 33,000 respondents across 27 countries. In 2018, it reported a global stagnation of trust. This year, the survey reports a record gap in trust between the informed and mass public in the UK.
Under the headline A Disunited Kingdom, the findings reveal that 7 in 10 Britons feel that life is unfair.
“The Trust deficit in our core institutions (government, business, media and NGOs) between the mass and the informed public has never been bigger. In the UK only 40% of the mass public say they trust in institutions, compared to 64% of the informed public – a record breaking 24% gap – the biggest of any of the 27 countries we survey. By comparison the gap in Donald Trump’s America is 13%.”
When it comes to specific business areas, Edelman reports small increases of trust in 13 of 15 sectors. Trust in Financial Services continues to climb slowly, up 15 points from 36 in 2015 to 51 in 2019. But before you FS people start pulling the party poppers, let’s put that in perspective.
Half of the population – including a huge proportion of the people who really need your support - don’t trust you.
And that’s the issue we are tackling in True’s latest Open Finance initiative – Inspiring Trust.
Building on the success of last year’s Breaking Inertia report, our new investigation
explores what exactly trust is, how it’s built or broken and what FS brands and businesses could be doing better to build trust and confidence among customers.
In particular, we’ll consider the rise of voice user interfaces like Amazon’s Alexa, conversational UI or chatbots, AI or machine learning and automated phone services. These advances should equip the financial services industry to have better quality, more personal and more cost-effective conversations with customers.
But financial communications from both traditional providers and new start-ups are rife with technical terms, impenetrable jargon, obscure legalese or me-too messaging.
Financial education, capability and literacy is poor. Vulnerable people are at risk.
Good conversations need narrative and conversational experts who understand the language, tone, cadence and content essential to educate, reassure, inspire action and maintain trust.
In new research, we will put a range of conversations to the test and demonstrate the impact of different approaches.
We’ll examine the role of branding, customer experience design and technology in engaging interest and attention when important decisions are at stake. What is engagement? How do you create it? What does it mean for communications?
We will also look at the life situations where people feel the need for trust and confidence most acutely – starting a family, buying a house, planning for retirement. The impact of empathy and emotional intelligence in product/service design and communication at these times can’t be underestimated.
Our Inspiring Trust report will be launched at exclusive, invitation-only events in London and Bristol in early summer. If you would like to attend, please send an expression of interest to Bertie. We’ll be in touch.
You can access our 2018 report on Breaking Inertia among consumers in financial services here.