The great business debate: Can consumers trust business?
On Wednesday 25th of February, Christine de Largy, Managing Director of Impact Executives and Chair UK Board Practice for Harvey Nash Group plc., attended The great business debate: Can consumers trust business? The great business debate is a CBI led campaign to help build public confidence in business, this time the event was hosted by Guardian Media Group.
A recent UK Government survey says. ….
- Only 32% of people believe the majority of businesses behave ethically.
- Only 53% believe that business makes a positive contribution to society.
- 68% believe industry scandals have impacted on their confidence in business as a whole. Which? Reports a crisis in confidence from many consumers in many sectors
The CBIs initiative is three fold:
1. Talk about profit. Educate and discus how profit is made and that it is not a dirty word. Profits are a reward for businesses that have transparency on financials
2. Join the digital age to engage the consumer in the right way for each Chanel. Technology has transformed business but it needs to be managed well and the ‘have a nice day’ motto is no longer enough. Customers expect a response within an hour in this world and respond more to recommendations from other consumers.
3. Information – There are so many choices in product and services nowadays which means decisions have become more difficult but we must provide good information to ensure consumers get value for money. Businesses need to be more open and honest. An initiative like simplifying transfer of bank accounts has made a real difference to the consumer and was the right thing to do.
Other issues mentioned were…
- Businesses must keep promises – It may be as simple as calling back on time and everything following that is delivered.
- Really understanding what the customer actually wants not what the board think they want e.g. invite customers to come into the business on a regular basis to discuss the issues.
- Have a set of values that go beyond profit so that all consumers, staff and shareholders are passionate about the same and right things.
The Which? Guide to businesses would be to…
- Get the basics right
- Make it more simple for consumers engage with you
- Be clearer about your role in society.
The impression on consumers is that businesses are defensive about legislation, not enough listening and responding to customers. People, expect business to take a long term role in society. To behave well in society, to put the customer first, not short term gains. Some discussion on the role of CSR which may have become a box ticking exercise, managed by a team in the corner somewhere. One CEO put it that you cannot rape and pillage Monday to Friday and then paint a school on Saturday and think that is OK. CSR must reflect the brand values and be lived by the board. IMPACT Executives says…….Doing good business, is good for business.
About Impact Executives Ltd Impact Executives is a leading interim management provider to organisations of every size in the UK and globally. Originally formed as a specialist practice within PA Consulting Group, over the past 25 years Impact Executives has helped over 2000 companies, including more than two-thirds of the FTSE 250 – find the very best executive interim management talent. Clients choose to work in partnership with Impact Executives because of our proven ability to offer clients immediate solutions to improve their organisation’s performance.
With offices covering the UK, continental Europe, Nordics, Asia Pacific and Australia, Impact Executives is part of the global services consultancy Harvey Nash Group plc, giving clients and interim managers the confidence that we have the resources, expertise and focus to deliver results – fast.
For further information on Impact Executives, please contact Steffany Young, Impact Executives, Tel: 0044 20 7314 2011 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org