In the business world, trust is built up over time. The first time you do business with a company, it might be a small project or a small purchase, and if the company proves itself, the next time you come back, it might be for a bigger project or purchase.

According to Help Scout, “on average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase”. (White House Office of Consumer Affairs)

The problem is, while trust is built up over time, it can be destroyed in a matter of minutes (and sometimes less than that). Therefore, the key is to make sure every interaction along the customer journey is one of transparency and exceeding expectations. According to the same Help Scout study, a bad transaction with a company will reach twice as many ears as good news, so taking care of the customer is more important than ever.

We’ve all seen the tweets and Facebook posts of poor customer service (airlines, are you listening?) while the customers are still in the store (or in the air). I personally have reached out to companies immediately after a poor customer service transaction to see if the relationship can be saved, as I try to be a very loyal customer. If it can be recovered with excellent customer care, great for the company and me. If not, and I feel under-valued, well then, it’s time to move on.

Don’t let a customer lose trust in an instant. Building trust is a non-stop endeavor.

Read: How Service Companies Can Earn Customer Trust and Keep It

(Harvard Business Review)

Paul Rutter is a customer loyalty, repeat business and customer service expert, a keynote speaker, corporate trainer and business author. He has had the unique opportunity to live with his customers and co-workers for months at a time traveling the world, and shares his experiences with land based businesses. For more information on More Than Perfect® Service, contact Paul at, follow him on Twitter on @RealPaulRutter or visit him on Facebook/PaulRutterSpeaks.

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