The foundation of any good relationship is trust. Partners must feel safe with one another; they must feel confident with one another; they must rely on one another. Within a business setting, the importance of trust is the same. To succeed in a competitive world, companies must cultivate positive connections with consumers, partners, stakeholders and employees. They must advocate transparency in their actions, help one another regardless of burden, faithfully steward data across all mediums and remain competent in their work processes. Doing these things builds trust within the market and translates in to a competitive advantage for the business.
Trust is especially important when it comes time for a company to survey the public in some way. Think about it: would you want to help someone you didn’t trust? Trust encourages respondents to assist a company when external circumstances might be swaying them otherwise. People are busy. They have other priorities. But if they believe a company truly values their input, that it wants to help educate them in some way and is not just wanting to sell them something, people become engaged. They become invested in helping the company succeed.
Here at Communications for Research (CFR), we believe there are several ways trust can help encourage respondent participation and facilitate meaningful survey results:
- Trust convinces respondents that their information is valid and valuable.
- Trust motivates respondents to share potentially embarrassing and/or sensitive information.
- Trust guarantees respondents that their information will not be mocked, misused or shared in inappropriate ways.
- Trust promises respondents that they will not only give, but also receive.
- Trust assures respondents that they will enjoy the time they spend with a company (i.e., brand touchpoints).
Clearly, trust is important. But, according to the GRBN’s Engage Handbook, “only 1 in 10 people has a high level of trust in market research companies.” Thus, if companies want to garner meaningful results through survey efforts, they are going to have to actively foster trust across all their audiences. And we, as market researchers, are going to have to make sure that the experiences they encounter during surveys do nothing to dissuade that trust.
Trust encourages engagement from consumers in ways that often translate in to valuable market share and increased ROI for companies. But making a buck shouldn’t be a company’s goal for establishing that trust. Instead, companies should strive for customer (and partner and stakeholder and employee) centricity by making sure that they are giving something in return for getting something. Only then is the trust “real.” Contact our team at Communications for Research (CFR) to learn more about crafting quality surveys that provide meaningful data for you and your consumers.
You might also wish to download our FREE eBook, "The Insider’s Guide to Successfully Using Market Research Online Surveys," for more information about survey construction and use.