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<p>CHICAGO – Forget the old clich about consumers not trusting the media, insurance companies rank second as the most untrustworthy industries. According to a survey conducted by Golin/Harris International, a public relations firm, industries with scores of -25 or less have “significant” trust problems. Insurers received a score of -59 just below oil and gas companies at -63. Consumers scored brokerage firms -58 and the airline and utilities companies each garnered a -52. “Industries that scored the lowest on issues of trust are viewed by consumers as distant or detached from their customers,” said Ellen Ryan Mardiks, worldwide marketing director for Golin/Harris. “Other factors that may contribute to a lack of trust include perceptions that these industries are plagued by questionable ethics in their business practices, are difficult or confusing to deal with, act primarily in self interest or simply disappoint stakeholders by making promises they fail to keep.” The study surveyed 775 consumers and 19 of the 24 industries scored by consumers earned negative trust scores. “Trust is a tangible benefit of consumers’ personal, direct experiences with a company’s product or service,” said Mardiks. “The industries that received higher trust index scores have been successful in setting consumers’ expectations and satisfying them consistently at every level.” When asked how companies could win back their trust consumers said the following: Be open and honest in business practices, 94%; Communicate more clearly, effectively, and be straightforward, 93%; Provide the best value in products and services, 88%; Visibly demonstrate concern and consideration for employees, 83%; Do a better job understanding/addressing my needs, 65%; Demonstrate and communicate industry leadership, 65%; Be innovative and different from the competition, 56%.</p>

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