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Infographic: Consumers’ Trust in Brands is Fading — And How It Can Be Saved

We just released the results of our newest ModSquad survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, which examines the level of trust U.S. consumers place in brands today — in particular, online services and social media sites. Unless you’ve been nestled away in a digital detox retreat, the results are probably of little surprise for most Mod Blog readers: We’re not feeling too generous with our trust these days. Up to 70% of respondents have become more concerned with how their information is handled by online services in light of recent questions about privacy and the way consumer information is handled.

So what’s a brand to do? If your audience has lost that lovin’ feeling for your company, here are three tips to woo them back.

1. Keep a human touch. As respondents to our survey shared, human interaction is very influential in instilling trust with brands. When we feel we’ve been wronged or we need help, empathy and emotional response have a part to play. While we may have perfected human-sounding audio, we’re not yet at a point where AI, chatbots, and robotic systems can truly cater to our emotional responses (unless we’re in Westworld, of course).

2. Be as transparent as possible. The rate at which brands are adopting new technology is off the charts, so for many companies there are frequent new services or features to promote. You may not have time to issue a press release for every amazing update, but you do have the ability to give customers more information via your website and online communities. According to our survey, younger generations such as Gen Z (ages 18–26) rank online communities and forums as their second most trusted source of brand recommendations, right behind referrals from friends and family, indicating an increasing influence of community-oriented engagement.

3. Review and moderate. The digital economy makes it possible for anyone — lovers and haters included — to engage with your brand at every stage of customer interaction. Our survey respondents shared that their number-two trusted resource (behind friends and family) are online reviews, such as those about your brand or services. Having a talented and action-oriented team of moderators to help out before a negative review or blog article hits one million “likes” can be a game changer. Sure, there will always be the person with a differing preference (e.g., they like chocolate and all you’ve got to offer is vanilla), but simply acknowledging their right to a differing opinion can go a long way with the many people watching your reaction and formulating trust-level opinions about your brand.

Learn about the survey in our press release and connect with us on Twitter to share your tips for helping brands win back customer trust.

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