How to Build Customer Trust in A Time of Crisis


New Qualtrics research surveyed Australian consumers’ sentiments to provide a framework for businesses to resolve how to build and keep customer trust and confidence in this time of crisis when public safety is everybody’s number one concern.

The survey revealed that satisfying Australians’ desire to be informed on how businesses are responding, how disruptions directly impact them as consumers, and how employees are being supported is the key driver to retaining and increasing brand trust.

Based on the results of the research, Qualtrics says that as companies map out recovery plans and reinforce brand loyalty following the COVID-19 crisis, strategies must be directed towards prioritizing business responsibility on employee and customer safety, and not on maximizing profits. As social distancing measures continue to disrupt the daily lives of Australians, the study shows that messages of optimism and statements about strong moral principles have very little impact on gaining their trust. What consumers want are meaningful actions that outline how companies are helping the community. Indeed, more than half of respondents (62%) agree that the actions companies take in a time of crisis will have a major impact on brand trust.

“Brands that can show how they are proactively helping the community, such as working within social distancing guidelines and workplace flexibility, will be in a stronger position to not only navigate the recovery phase, but accelerate it too.”

Lisa Khatri, Brand Experience and Research Lead for Qualtrics in APJ

To maintain engagement and confidence with the business during this time when levels of uncertainty are at a peak, focus on gaining consumers’ trust must be given special attention. Consumers who feel that they can trust your business will be more likely to choose to engage with your brand which will, in turn, strengthen brand loyalty.

With the data gained from the research, companies have an opportunity to strengthen customers’ trust and confidence.

Key takeaways from the Qualtrics Research

Business actions that will increase trust during the crisis
  • taking care of employees (43%)
  • not taking advantage of a crisis (43%)
  • taking care of customers (40%)
Top information customers want to know
  • how the business is responding to the crisis (66%)
  • the impact on distribution (48%)
  • information on products and services (45%)
Preferred communication channel 
  • Email (59%)
  • TV advertising (48%)
  • Facebook (36%)

Qualtrics Brand Trust Pulse

To help businesses further understand the changing drivers of brand trust and focus on the most relevant actions to consumers, the new free-to-access XM solution, Brand Trust Pulse was launched. The platform provides a means for companies to gauge customers’ trust and determine what actions bring the most value to the customer experience journey. It includes a pre-built survey and report to help organizations assess consumers as well as competitors.

About Qualtrics

Qualtrics is the leader in customer experience and the creator of the Experience Management (XM) category. Over 11,000 organizations around the world are using Qualtrics to listen, understand, and take action on experience data (X-data). To help businesses determine which strategies will provide the best results in the XM category, Qualtrics has offered several free tools and resources.

About the Research

Qualtrics surveyed 510 Australians between 24 – 29 April.

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