A new survey has highlighted the differences between customer expectation and experience in the fintech industry, with many companies failing to deliver the value that consumers crave. It has also flagged up the low standing that CEOs have as credible sources of information.

According to public relations (PR) firm FleishmanHillard Fishburn’s (FHF) “Authenticity Gap” survey, the communication and experience data has produced findings that might make “stark reading” for many CEOs within the fintech sector.

“We’ve seen politicians and companies scramble to claim the mantle of authenticity as voters and customers seem to care less about what leaders do and more about their perceived character and intentions,” says FHF’s CEO Jim Donaldson.

FHF’s aim was simple: identify the biggest gaps between what companies say and how they behave with the shared perceptions of others.

The PR firm reveals that 1,064 people responded to the survey, and says the fintech sector has had “mixed success” in meeting customer expectations. The industry is “falling short of expectations in providing customer care, ‘doing right’ and caring for the environment”.

However, FHF says it is not all concerning news for the fintech sector. It has shown to be meeting expectations in community impact, employee care and performs beyond expectation in credible communications, providing better value, performing consistently and innovating. See image below for more details.

There are a multitude of causes behind the space between reality and perception. One of the most crucial thrown up is the issue of fake news and fact. (Which of course is not just limited to the fintech world.)

FHF asked people how in a time of more and more fake news circulating about companies, what sources of information people find most credible when sorting facts from fiction about a company – and the image below explains the results.

FHF thinks the results will be worrying reading for CEOs and make a case for the communications industry to change the way it media trains CEOs as well as “empowering far larger numbers of staff to speak on behalf of the company”. (We all know why a PR firm would say this.)

Just 7% of respondents found leaders of companies the most credible sources of information. Only politicians came in lower. For 34% the most credible source of information are knowledgeable friends, family and colleagues, a figure tied with employees and people who work for the company.

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