Do Consumers Expect Perfection From Organizations?

A report by PwC indicated that consumers do not expect perfection from organizations, they expect respect. Therefore, they are willing to give second chances to organizations that practice transparency. Insights on how the level of transparency impacts consumers’ willingness to forgive brands have been curated and provided below.

Transparency and Forgiveness Between Companies and Consumers

  • Several credible sources have reported that consumers prefer brands that own their mistakes and are forthcoming with company information. 61% of consumers believe that admitting mistakes portrays a company’s transparency. Other topics that consumers feel they demonstrate transparency when brands talk about them in social media platforms can be seen in the image below.


  • With 86% of Americans believing that transparency from companies is more important than ever, approximately 9 out of 10 people are more likely to give second chances to brands that are transparent while a further 85% are willing to stick with them through difficult moments. Another 89% of the participants in the Sprout Social survey indicated that a company can regain their trust if it admits its mistake and also be transparent about how issues are being resolved.
  • Another report by PwC also states that consumers are willing to forgive companies when situations such as breaches of data occur. However, in order to gain their trust back, a company has to be transparent about what happened, how the situation is being resolved, as well as implement real and effective changes. An article by The Business Journals also concurs with this stating that owning a mistake and telling the truth without delay can help a brand retain its customers.

Gaining Back Consumers' Trust

  • The Light Digital also reported that one of the mistakes that a company can do is to try to hide or cover up mistakes or problems, as that would breed uncertainty. Customers are more likely to understand, forgive, and maintain their loyalty if a company openly addresses the issues it is facing and provides insights on its plans to solve them because it will appear as a more human-centered entity.
  • An article by the Los Angeles Times revealed that 90% of people who participated in a survey conducted by Experian stated that they would be more forgiving to organizations that respond to issues such as breach of data in a swift and transparent manner.
  • A report by PwC also indicated that consumers do not expect perfection from organizations, they expect respect. As a result, 62% of them stated that in instances where a data breach occurs, they would wait and see how the company reacts and handles the issue before deciding to walk away.
  • As stated above transparency increases trust and loyalty and loyal customers are more likely to try new offerings, repurchase, and refer a company. In addition to this, they are also 5 times more likely to forgive brands.

Research Strategy

Data on how transparency plays into forgiveness around new technology products was not readily available in the public domain. We searched through media publications and industry reports among other credible sources to determine if we could find a direct relationship on how transparency plays into forgiveness in the mind of the consumer when it comes to new technology products, but unfortunately, our strategies were fruitless. Therefore, we leveraged data from other sectors outside the tech industry to compile the above findings.

Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at The Digital Momentum with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.

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