Prof. Finian Buckley a trust scholar at DCU Business School says the future for the Volkswagen brand is going to be very difficult.
Trust in a brand is built on three pillars, Competence, Integrity or Honesty, and Concern for customer. The reported rigging of emissions reading breaches at least 2 of these 3 pillars.
Unfortunately for VW, trust repair from integrity and concern for customer breaches are the most difficult to repair. Our research indicates that it is a slow costly process with no guarantee of success. They need to take several key steps to begin that process:
- Identify and accept responsibility for the breach
- Apologise openly and honestly – explain how and why this occurred
- Consider “exiting” those responsible
- Can reparation be made
- Put in place structures that objectively (independently) ensure that this can never reoccur
Even with these in place will customers ever trust VW again?
Professor Finian Buckley is a Professor of Organisational Psychology in DCU Business School. For more on his research in the area of trust, please click here.