Trust – more important than delight in building customer loyalty

I have been going to the same hairdresser – Abby – for the last 6 years. I have not entrusted anyone else to snip my hair over the last 72 months! So, you can safely say that I am a loyal customer.

In the world of customer service, the accepted thinking is that Abby is doing something that is “delighting me” as a customer.

The concept of customer delight is most commonly associated with “doing something different and/or better” for the customer. It is associated with continually “raising the bar”.

But I don’t think that it is delight that has been keeping me coming back, month after month, over the last 6 years. Abby has not attempted to “raise the bar” or do things different for me.

So, what is about Abby that has built my loyalty?

In a word, it’s trust.

I trust that Abby will give me a consistent customer experience. She gives me the same warm greeting, just as she has done for the last 6 years. She still gives me a cup of Chinese tea when I arrive, just as she has done for the last 6 years. She is still the same friendly hairdresser who does a great job, just as she has been for the last 6 years. I feel good going to Abby and she delivers the goods. I walk out a happy customer now, just as I have for the last 6 years.

I trust that Abby will give a consistently positive experience, at both a rational and emotional level.

I believe that we don’t necessarily have to keep raising the bar to build customer loyalty. I believe that perhaps the most valuable currency that drives customer loyalty is trust – trust that we will provide a consistently high customer experience that appeals to us at both a rational and emotional level. No disappointments. No excuses. Just plain and simple consistency.

What do you think? I’m interested!

I will explore this further in my next post. Until then…

2 thoughts on “Trust – more important than delight in building customer loyalty

  1. Hello George

    I agree with you that to maintain the sustainability of the relationship with a client trust is the main ingredient.

    However, I believe that at the beginning, to catch a customer’s attention and stand out from the rest of the competitors, companies should delight and surprise. I would even say that, according to type of service, a good surprise occasionally will not hurt.

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    • Yes, delight is still relevant, Veronica. However, neither of us is convinced that have to keep delighting our way to customer loyalty. Rather, it’s about building trust that we will consistently deliver on the promise. We do this by delivering at both rational and emotional level. Thanks for your comment.

      Like

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