Gaining a customers trust is hard... fortunately Mutuals have a good track record.
In a time where so much is changing and the future is unclear, Australian’s are becoming more aware and educated than ever before in order to make decisions that are not only smart but also ethical. Gone are the days of “I will take your word for it” and the concept of turning a blind eye.Australians are now more than ever seeking out more ethical ways of doing business and for Mutuals, it means reminding them that you are here.
In findings from the Edelman Trust Barometer 2020, which measures social trust in government, business, NGOs and media, we discover that ethical drivers are 3 times more important to company trust than competence.
The study shows a lot of findings that align with the Mutual business model such as putting customers first, profits are not the be-all-end-all and values such as integrity and sustainability are a core part of doing business.
It's your job to remind your customers that:
You Put Customers First
As mutual banks are owned by customers, the structure means that every member has an equal share in the mutual, and an equal vote. The first order of business is to benefit members without the pressure to take risks to maximise shareholder returns. At the heart of every mutual is a member-focussed ethos that always looks to act in the best interest of members.
Profits Are Not The Be All & End All
Profits are reinvested back into systems and products to benefit their members and their communities with better services, product and value.
Integrity And Giving Back Are Core Values
The Mutual sector has a strong track record of social responsibility and giving back to the community. Which is more important now than ever before. A mutual structure means that there is a mutually beneficial reason for giving back.
Customers no longer want to be "sold to", they want to be apart of something bigger. It is no longer enough to have the shiniest, brightest, best product on the market. If you are not ethical and contributing to the greater good, your loyal customer base will begin to dwindle.
The same can be said for employees. At BCCM’s 2019 Leaders’ Summit, Dr Elena Limnios spoke about how ethical drivers are of increasing importance for employees, “More than ever before, employees want to work for organisations that can be trusted to contribute to a higher purpose.”
However you must practice what you preach. According to a study conducted by McKinsey, Consumers are mostly well educated about brands and the realities behind them. When they are not, they know how to access information and develop a point of view quickly. If a brand advertises diversity but lacks diversity within its own ranks, for example, that contradiction will be noticed.
The shift will only continue with Millennials and Gen Z, favouring brands with a strong message of corporate social responsibility.
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, said, "Doing good is no longer a matter of writing a few checks at the end of the year, as it was for my generation; for many young people, it’s an ethos that governs where they work, shop and invest.”
This presents the opportunity for Mutuals to do more to raise the profile of the sector, emphasising their people & ethical centred model.
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