Trends in Trust

A year to forget - a promise to remember

Thursday, December 17, 2020

This year has undoubtedly been one of the toughest in recent history. From the global pandemic to other monumental social and political uncertainties, we’ve all witnessed huge shifts in our everyday lives.

One such change has been the acceleration from the physical to the online world.

On the one hand, technology has exceeded expectations. It has dealt with our huge demands. When our physical world has been “locked-down”, we’ve been gifted with a way to survive, a way to continue our lives - the internet. Food, shopping, work, education, entertainment and social connection - all have continued to be accessible with minimal disruption. On the other hand, this surge in online usage means we need more focus to make sure the internet remains to be a force for good.

Back in the middle of this year, I highlighted my thoughts around the challenges we all face to maintain trust in the world. Trust is broken, especially online. As the builders of technology, and particularly ‘social’ technology that amplifies voices and viewpoints, I wanted to highlight both the challenge before us and the steps we would take to proactively protect and promote trust online.

This new surge to doing more online means even greater responsibility for myself, and my team at Trustpilot. Reviews are the second most trusted source of consumer information (after family and friends, and well ahead of advertising), and 89% of people now use them before making a purchase.

My ‘Trust Promise’ was an open agreement with the world to say that Trustpilot will do more to ensure that consumers and businesses can continue to benefit from their interactions on the Trustpilot platform and that they can trust the integrity of the content they see. We will do even more to battle those who try to manipulate and mislead others, and we will remain true to providing everyone with the ability to share their experiences without feeling censored.

Today, I’m proud to say that we have done more, we have achieved all the things we set out to do in 2020. Our final commitment - all consumer reviews remaining visible when “flagged” by a business - now done. Many of you said that you felt your voices were being censored when reviews were temporarily removed for investigation. This has never been our intention, and we have updated our processes to ensure that this no longer happens.

This final change is not just good for consumers, but it’s also good for businesses too, ensuring they are not mistakenly thought to be censoring customers experiences, by using our reporting systems.

I talk a lot to other businesses about how they can use consumer feedback to get closer to their customers. Done in the right way, it really does create a more trusted relationship. The more we business owners can listen and take action to improve, the more everyone will benefit.

This year has been an opportunity for Trustpilot to pave the way to something special, and we will not be stopping there. We will be relentless in our ambitions to protect and promote trust online. I’ll have more to share with you next year.

I’m hopeful we can all try to see the upheaval of this year as a catalyst for greater, more positive change in the world around us in 2021. We’re striving for a more trusted world and I look forward to seeing you all there.

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