Ford’s 2020 trend report reveals troubling finding on loneliness

Loneliness has become a global epidemic

Ford Motor Company on Wednesday released its annual trend report that looks at the role of trust in society.

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The report found that consumers are losing faith in companies and the deep dive into loneliness also suggested it has become a global epidemic.

The report, which is based on more than 13,000 interviews spanning across 14 countries, suggested loneliness is spiraling into a crisis for a number of reasons including people avoiding or delaying marriage, the higher likeliness to live alone or that they are not including themselves in traditional communities. It found that technology is impacting how people interact with society – especially Generation Z. Half of the young people surveyed said they felt lonely when they’re surrounded by other people.

“It is really troubling,” Ford chief futurist Sheryl Connelly told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Wednesday.

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The report also found that many things go into building consumer trust. While consumers want to have confidence in companies, seeing is believing. Even so, people are still thrilled to shop -- only 36 percent of people around the globe said they no longer feel joy while shopping. Consumers have high expectations of brands and poor customer service is going to be the norm rather than the exception, Connelly said.

“I think that we're just disappointed in the type of customer service we receive,” she said.

Furthermore, despite the popularity of e-commerce, 82 percent of U.S. consumers said they want more human interaction in the future, not less according to PwC.

“I think what people are looking for are more meaningful interactions, more customized service and still a little bit of surprise and delight, and that's hard to find,” said Connelly.

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The report also explored where people stand on hot-button social issues. It found that 58 percent feel despair when it comes to fighting climate change. Connelly said when it comes to brand loyalty, transparency is everything.

“The more transparent a brand can be about where they stand, the more likely people will feel a sense of loyalty and connection to the company,” she said.

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