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For Deloitte Digital, Trust Played a Central Role in 2020

For good reason, trust factors into everything a company does.

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When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Deloitte Digital sat in an interesting position to guide our customers and prioritize taking care of our employees. We could have taken disparate routes through the pandemic. Instead, we focused on ensuring one theme threaded through our work: Trust. 

Whether we’re living through a pandemic or more normal times, trust factors into everything a company does. Here, we explore five areas where we put trust first throughout 2020 and how that will continue into 2021.

Trust the timing for transformation

No one could have predicted the events of 2020 to unfold as they did so fast, starting back in March. Forced to shut offices and pivot to remote work, companies also faced the need to update outdated systems and processes. Those that wanted to survive, let alone thrive, during the pandemic and beyond, had to make quick decisions. Progress should often focus on being proactive, but many companies had to react and do so quickly. The technology was there, but not everyone was ready to adopt new tools or platforms. 

This last year forced many leaders to quickly assess where they needed to sit — whether in the global marketplace or within their smaller ecosystem — and determine how fast they needed to get set up. This unprecedented time pushed innovation and transformation years ahead of where most planned to be in 2020 and 2021. 

Based on experience working with organizations across industries worldwide — from health care and financial services to manufacturing and government — Deloitte Digital and Salesforce had the tools to help companies set up and solidify business practices to get back to work and keep moving forward. These practices enabled organizations to create a path forward and take care of employees during the process.

At the onset of the pandemic, many of our clients had innumerable questions about how to speed up their digital transformations. Our team partnered with Salesforce to help them create a digital journey. We worked with leaders to plan for three phases — respond, recover, and thrive — yet many found themselves doing all three concurrently. COVID-19 acted as a catalyst for transformation. The processes set up helped guide many of our clients through the pandemic and position themselves for future success. 

Trust the data across the ecosystem

Once organizations realized the need to transform and push forward, data, rather than gut reaction, helped them move through the process. We assisted our clients better serve their customers by providing them with the right tools and the right access to the data that mattered to them. Tableau and the Einstein Analytics suite provided us with the ability to deliver agile analysis to the decision makers. At Deloitte Digital, we’re committed to helping those clients make a smooth transition.

We started having many more conversations with clients about the data ecosystem. They wanted to ensure they obtained the right data for their different business units — from sales to marketing to commerce. That’s where MuleSoft played a big role. We discussed creating a bridge between Salesforce CRM, Einstein, Tableau, Deloitte Digital analytics experience, industry knowledge, and the ability to implement complex data architecture. And we continued to have value-led conversations around how to activate all of this data and engage with customers in new ways, despite not being able to meet in-person. At that time, and still today and looking ahead, it couldn’t be more important to trust the data.

Trust the innovation

As the pandemic firmly took hold, businesses and organizations knew many changes would have to occur for them to survive. This wasn’t just about how to set up safe workspaces for when people would return to offices. This thrust the world into a paradigm shift on many levels where we needed to act quickly to be a trusted, guiding hand in various spaces. One area where everyone needed guidance fell under health: How can we safely operate? How do we know who is sick and who is healthy? How can we communicate with our employees and customers? These questions formed the basis for two important initiatives Deloitte Digital and Salesforce launched to help guide people through a very challenging landscape. 

First, in April, Deloitte launched ConvergeHEALTH™ Connect for Crisis Response, powered by Salesforce Health Cloud. It’s designed to enable health care organizations to:

  • Digitally triage with an innovative AI-based tool
  • Monitor and remotely manage the treatment of coronavirus patients and quarantined persons
  • Carry out medical care plans, including digital tools to help patients stay connected during treatment. 

This work has helped health care systems and medical teams around the world. 

Then, in June, we introduced the GovConnect Public Health Transformation Platform. With it, we furthered our efforts to support state and local governments to modernize their healthcare systems. We wanted to assist with active contact tracing efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19. And we needed an easy-to-use cloud-based tracking and communication system to do so. Some of the key features include:

  • Next generation disease surveillance and immunization registries
  • Case management for contact tracing opt-in and follow up
  • Call center operations with phone support and chat bots
  • Reopening solutions based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for social distancing management

Trust with our customers, employees, and business partners

For organizations navigating pandemic challenges, it’s imperative to build and understand trust. Trust lays the groundwork for creating lasting and impactful relationships with customers, employees, and partners. But, trust, like any nuanced and complicated topic, can be difficult to measure. Organizations have struggled to generate meaningful and actionable insights without creating a complex or unwieldy measurement tool.

To solve this problem, Deloitte created the HX TrustID™, a proprietary system that helps organizations measure, predict, and act by answering four simple questions to better understand trust for your brand. The HX TrustID has proven to be highly accurate. It explains roughly 75% of behavior, which helps organizations understand how trust scores impact customer and employee behaviors. This prediction also helps identify the actions they need to take to build and rebuild trust.

For example, employees who trust their employer are 79% more motivated to work (versus 29% who don’t trust their employer). And 88% of customers who trust a brand have repurchased from that brand. Sixty-two percent of customers will buy exclusively from that brand in a category, demonstrating the high degree of loyalty fostered by increasing trust. This is a snapshot of how the HX TrustID can impact your company. Throughout the pandemic, we learned just how important that trust has been for Deloitte Digital, its employees and its clients.  

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Trust in the leadership and the people

None of the work we have done throughout 2020 and nothing we will do looking toward the future could happen without trust. That’s overall trust in company leadership and with our employees who need to trust leadership to do their jobs as best as possible. 

We saw this during our quick pivot at the start of the pandemic. A massive change occurred that affected our clients, but also our team members and colleagues. Initially, we ensured our teams felt connected via technology while working remotely. But more importantly, that everyone felt a sense of belonging. We offered professional subsidies to help people set up their home offices for connectivity and comfort. We also created programs to make sure our people had dependent care to balance work with parenting, which many did. This helped show our teams the company cares about them and their families along with their emotional and mental health needs.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Deloitte Consulting LLP, Dan Helfrich, held weekly town hall meetings to provide total transparency for our thousands of employees working remotely. It gave people the chance to offer real-time feedback that allowed leadership to take tangible action on their behalf. Dan doesn’t believe leaders should have “information privilege.” He urges leaders to share that knowledge with employees so they can perform at their best. This concept also unlocks a level of trust and builds up the company culture. 

We also held smaller virtual social gatherings to bring teams together and keep people up to date on the company’s happenings. These virtual social connections felt crucial for us to bond with new employees and those onboarded to new projects. It helped everyone to believe in the work we do and solidify the trust in our mission. 

No one could have predicted how 2020 would play out when the year started. But, together with Salesforce, we worked to ensure we could respond, recover, and thrive — and help our customers do exactly that. But by implementing the right tools, following the right data, and trusting in the right leadership, we’ve overcome obstacles. And we continue to keep this as our top focus as we start the new year.

Learn more about how Deloitte Digital and Salesforce continue to innovate together.


Brian is a principal in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s digital customer practice and is the U.S. Salesforce alliance leader. With more than 20 years of experience, Brian has led some of Deloitte's largest financial services clients through all aspects of their digital transformations, including strategic planning and visioning, process optimization and redesign, solution delivery utilizing both traditional and agile techniques, ongoing “run the business” functions, and metrics analysis to quantify the success of these efforts. Brian has helped companies drive growth and efficiency by optimizing their sales, service and marketing businesses and technologies, through transforming their front office distribution and marketing capabilities, and utilizing innovative cloud-based solutions to drive business value. He works across the entire Salesforce ecosystem to help Deloitte's clients create experiences that build connections to drive loyalty and fuel bottom line results.

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