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Businesses using free email accounts seen as untrustworthy
Using a free email service to contact customers can be detrimental to businesses, according to new research from the IE Domain Registry, by eroding trust.
Using the likes of Gmail to communicate with customers can lead to a lack of trust among consumers, found research conducted among 1,000 consumers for the IE Domain Registry (IEDR) by Ignite.
While more than three quarters of consumers (77%) said they would trust companies using a website or email address registered to a business name, two-thirds (64%) said they see businesses who use free email account as less trustworthy.
Those businesses that are foregoing a website for a social media presence are also risking consumer trust, found the survey. While two-thirds (65%) of consumers said they trust a company with a website, just 17% could say the same of one without. Businesses that only had a Facebook or Twitter presence were seen as less trustworthy by 63% of consumers.
"Our research reveals that consumers see professional email addresses and websites as indicators of trust and authenticity. For sole traders and SMEs, this is particularly important," said David Curtin, chief executive of IEDR. "Anecdotal evidence suggests that first-time customers are far more likely to contact the plumber or electrician who has a web presence, rather than the one who just has a phone listing. Investing in a website that lists contact details, services and prices implies openness, accountability and trustworthiness."
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