Trust is at an all-time low in the world of customer experience. Consumers are suspicious of the businesses they interact with; stories abound of data harvesting and people’s personal information being stolen.

This, too, is being reflected in the employee experience, with few companies being able to secure the trust of their workers to forge healthy relationships that benefit everyone. But how could the pillar of Integrity help with this, and why is it so important to customer experience management?


What is the pillar of Integrity?

Integrity is one of six such pillars that make up KPMG Nunwood’s Six Pillar System. Together, they represent the characteristics that are found in all of the best customer experiences, affirmed through nearly 3,000 detailed brand reviews and 3 million B2C and B2B evaluations.

To act with Integrity, a company must be upfront and honest with the consumer. There should be a strong sense of openness and transparency; companies should own up to their mistakes and operate in a way that’s morally acceptable. Some of the best organisations take this further and build their operations on philanthropic principles. For example, one of the retailers in the latest CEE takes a hard stand against plastic waste and animal testing.

Ultimately, to act with integrity is important because customers are more loyal to the companies they like. But the pillar of Integrity has become increasingly important to the employee experience, too. After all, how can customers be expected to trust an organisation if those inside it don’t…?


Behaviours that erode trust

In KPMG Nunwood’s 2019 UK CEE report, the pillar of Integrity is found to be the most important of The Six Pillars. Together with Resolution and Empathy, it is one of the ‘hygiene factors’ of an employee experience, and forms a crucial underpinning.

Often, in an ‘unhealthy’ organisation, there tends to be something of an introverted, silo mentality at play. Departments pursue their own agendas and have no grasp of the bigger picture, and their communication with other silos is broken at best. Moreover, there tends to be a culture of command and control, where failure isn’t tolerated and people lack the courage to speak up.

These behaviours also impact on the customer. If they are being served by employees who are stressed, unhappy and demotivated, the overall customer experience is tarnished as a result. In addition, the way in which some customers are seen simply as targets for sales can have a negative impact on the kind of experience that’s delivered.


Behaviours that build trust

However, there are many things that organisations can do to start building trust amongst their employees, and customer bases.

First, senior leaders can show concern for others, and make employee welfare a high priority. They can also demonstrate openness in the way they go about things, even when it comes to difficult subjects. Furthermore, they can give their workers influence over the factors that affect their job, and encourage them to take risks for the betterment of the customer.

In this scenario, everybody benefits. Employees are happier and more enthusiastic because they’re being fostered in a positive working environment. The customer grows more loyal towards the organisation because of the joyous and honest experience that’s on offer. And at the financial end, there’s a reduction in staff turnover and an increase in customer retention and customer growth.

But this is only a snapshot. The value of Integrity – and much more – is covered in KPMG Nunwood’s 2019 UK CEE report, ‘Power to the People.’ Could your organisation benefit from its learnings?

Contact KPMG Nunwood today and download your free copy.