Trust between consumer and organisation is as important as ever, says CEO of The Institute of Customer Service

5th Apr 2018

Jo Causon, CEO of The Institute, has advised companies that they must place constructive behaviour at the top of the organisation in order to gain and keep trust from consumers.

Leading with comments from speakers at The Institute’s latest annual conference, Causon uses the recent Facebook data scandal as an example of trust between the public and an organisation.

“Whatever you believe – or whatever becomes clear – around the relationship between Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and various political campaigns, the short-term damage to Facebook’s reputation was visible in the impact on its share price,” she said. “The long-term damage is as yet unknown, but clearly the episode has hit the levels of trust its users have in the organisation.”

One of the recurrent themes to emerge from The Institute’s conference was how companies can deal with a fast-moving external environment. “It’s easy to get swept along and make decisions. Yet, by far the better approach is stepping back from and thinking before pressing ‘go’,” explained Causon.

“It’s not about slowing things down for the sake of it or being resistant to change, so much as about ensuring that we are making the right decisions at the right time. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should,” she said.

Causon believes that ensuring behaviours within an organisation support the achievement of its purpose and values and that will contribute to creating a better customer experience.

“These behaviours start at the top – but they are just as important on a peer-to-peer basis. Everybody in the organisation must be accountable, and take ownership and responsibility for their actions. There must be a culture where anybody can challenge anyone else and pull them up for behaviours that are out of line,” said Causon.

“Trust is fragile and once it’s lost, it’s extremely hard to regain. It is at the heart of the service agenda. I believe that in these frenetic times, it’s more important than ever to stand back regularly and ask yourself whether a decision is the right one: will it build trust and improve the customer experience, and is it founded on the behaviours that you are trying to instil across the business?” she added.

Share this