Canada

 

The Authenticity Report – Canada Headlines
2017
Three quarters of companies have gaps in better value

Better value is the single most important expectation in our 2017 study. On average 21 per cent of expectations are focused on better value (across the 20 industries we studied). And three quarters of more than 150 companies in those industries have gaps. The largest gap is minus 17 per cent, and the average gap is minus five per cent. The economic outlook may be improving but for many people the cost of living is rising and value for money remains a primary concern.

 

Mainstream media twice as credible as social media in sorting fact from fiction

There’s a perfect storm taking place: we see the surge in fake news, the towering dominance of Facebook, Twitter and Google as de facto news platforms, and the simultaneous gutting of actual newsrooms and investigative journalism at traditional news outlets. And yet, mainstream broadcasters (26%) and print media (25%) are twice as credible as social media channels (13%).

 

Do Financial Services companies know what doing right means for their customers?

In the Financial Services sector, expectations of doing right are on average the third highest across the Banking, Fintech and Investing industries.  But companies have work to do. Eighteen companies have gaps (of the 24 we studied), three are broadly matching and only three companies are exceeding expectations of doing right. Financial companies need to identify and understand what being more committed to doing the right thing means for their customers. This will help them tell a more complete story.

 

Expectations of credible communications are the lowest across all industries

Of the Nine Drivers, credible communications has the lowest average expectations of all 20 industries studied. In fact, 16 industries rank expectations of credible communications in the bottom three drivers. And it is the lowest driver in 7 industries. In an age of alternative facts companies are struggling to be heard and believed.

 

Customer expectations focus on “What’s in it for me?”

Peoples’ expectations of the drivers that make up Customer Benefits (better value, customer care and innovation) dominate across all 20 industries studied – every industry has one of these drivers in the top three. Taken together these three drivers rank No. 1, 2 and 3, in eight industries: Consumer Electronic Devices, Enterprise Services, Internet Services, Department Stores, Household Large Appliances, Medical Devices & Diagnostics, Automobiles, Beer & Spirits.

  

For ‘disruptor’ companies, innovation needs to deliver better value – not just new products, services and experiences

Many disruptor companies aim to do business in new ways, and many rely heavily on innovation. But consumers’ experience of disruptor companies in Canada doesn’t focus on innovation – it is the No.1 experience in only one of the companies studied. More important to people is better value: it is the No. 1 or No. 2 experience for all eight companies.

 

Customer Benefits driving expectations – for now

Expectations of the drivers that make up Customer Benefits (better value, customer care and innovation) exceed 55 per cent in half the industries we studied. And six  industries are about

65 per cent. In one industry, Household Large Appliances, Customer Benefits make up over 70 per cent of expectations. But given the speed and scale with which stakeholder expectations change, companies must be strategic in what actions they take. They should not lose sight of the drivers that make up Management Behaviours (doing right, consistent performance, credible communications) and Society Outcomes (employee care, community impact, care of environment).

 

Expectations of care of environment on a par with innovation

In a country where economic and social well-being is dependent on the sustainability of the environment average expectations of care of environment (12.3%) are virtually on a par with those of innovation (13.6%) across all 20 industries. Both drivers are No 1. In three industries. But company performance in meeting these expectations is very different – 66 per cent of companies have gaps on care of the environment compared to 28 per cent on innovation. How can companies drive greater sustainability?

 

The demand for customer care is twice as high in service-centric industries

Customer care is the top driver by far in the service-centric industries of Airlines, Banking and Hotels. Expectations of customer care in each of these industries is over 30 per cent, nearly twice as high as the average in other industries of only 16 per cent.  And how do these industries stack up against customers’ experience? They all have double-digit gaps: Airlines (-14.1%), Banking (-14.0%) and Hotels (-10.7%).

 

Politicians are 12 times less credible than friends, family and colleagues

For many years, studies have tracked a decline in respect for politicians and the establishment. Knowledgeable friends, family and colleagues (35%) and employees (32%) are about twelve times more credible than politicians (3%), and four times more credible than company leaders (8%).