By Patrick B. Villalobos
QUALTRICS, a leader in customer experience and creators of the experience management category, bared in its new research what drives brand trust across the Philippine market amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Released last June 24, the study, which involved 330 Filipinos, revealed that nine in 10 Filipinos (88 percent) said the actions taken by brands during this crisis have a significant effect on their trust. Only one percent indicated they had no impact at all.
“While the operational impact of the lockdown measures in place across the Philippines is temporary, their influence on consumer attitudes and behaviors will be long lasting,” said Lisa Khatri, brand experience and research lead for Qualtrics in Asia Pacific and Japan.
“As people’s priorities continue to shift in response to the pandemic, and their media consumption habits change too, they will look for brands they can trust and whose qualities align with their own,” she added.
The survey showed that over 90 percent of the repspondents believed it’s important for brands to take care of their employees and customers, and to not take advantage of the crisis to maximise profits.
Asked about the behaviors that elevate their confidence in these difficult times, not taking advantage of a crisis to maximize profits (39 percent) topped their answers. This was followed by taking care of customers, and maintaining reasonable pricing (both 34 percent).
Neverthless, they found less impactful the brands that are providing new products and services tailored to the crisis (14 percent), or even statements about strong moral principles (12 percent).
In terms of brand communications, the operational impact of Covid-19 was interesting for the local market. Per the results, the top messages Filipinos liked to know were how the business is responding to the crisis (71 percent), information on products and services (52 percent), how they are treating employees (42 percent), as well as sales and promotion emails (42 percent).
Qualtrics also discovered the extent to which people are transitioning to digital channels during this unprecedented health emergency. Two-thirds (67 percent) said their use of online banking has grown, as well as buying more on the web (63 percent).
The rise of digitalization is reflected on how the consumers want brands to communicate with them. Off all the social network channels, Facebook was the most preferred communication platform at 86 percent, then online media at 54 percent, and e-mail at 50 percent. Less popular were TikTok, Whatsapp, and Print Media—all at eight percent. At the bottom of the list was WeChat at only three percent.
“Speed to insights is fundamental for brands to move forward in these uncertain times. Businesses need robust and agile platforms empowering them to listen to the expectations and needs of customers and employees in real-time, and then take meaningful action to engage them in the ways and moments that matter most. This approach actively demonstrates the value brands bring to keep consumer attention in rapidly changing markets,” said Khatri.
Given their high level of trust, she emphasized that consumers are confident in choosing to engage with a brand. She pointed out: “That’s why the businesses that successfully navigate this new reality will do so by keeping a real-time pulse on market behaviours and perception, and by identifying the brand qualities people value most right now. Using these insights, businesses can find their competitive advantage in this new reality by taking action on the issues having the biggest impact.”
Qualtrics kicked off the free solution called “The COVID-19 Brand Trust Pulse” to make businesses understand the drivers of brand trust and focus actions on the most relevant to consumers.
It forms part of a range of free offerings launched by the experience management company since the pandemic has begun, supporting over 31,000 projects across more than 8,500 organizations.
The most latest additions of which are the Back to Business and Return to Work solutions designed to help organizations stay linked with customers and employees, know their expectations and preferences, and take actions to build confidence as businesses resume their operations.