Whenever I ask audience participants to describe why they are loyal to a business; inevitably the characteristic of TRUST is mentioned. Trust is not won overnight, trust must be earned. Accuracy, consistency, and honesty on the part of the business helps to win that trust with a customer.
I had been noticing a rattling sound coming from my dashboard for a week. Yesterday, I finally took it in to a local Firestone Formula One shop to see if they could fix it. The owner of the shop, Mike Jones, personally took the time to come hear the rattle, whereupon he asked if they could keep the car overnight to discover and then try to correct the problem.
Thirty minutes after I left the shop, I get a call from Mike telling me that his shop cannot fix my rattle as it is a cd/stereo issue. He gives me the names and numbers of a couple people in town that should be able to fix it and explains why he can’t correct the problem as it really isn’t in the realm of his shop’s expertise. I am given an invoice listing all the diagnostics they had done to discover the cause of the rattle and each line item is shown as costing zero dollars.
Now, who do you think I will take my car to the next time it breaks? Accurate in their diagnosis, helpful in finding me someone else, and honest about their competencies has solidified my loyalty to Firestone. When these characteristics are consistently exhibited by the employees in a business, loyalty builds. Loyalty inside the business and loyalty outside the business comes as a result of Trust.  Firestone Formula One has had the loyalty of my family members for years now.  What is the lifetime value of a four car family?  You figure the mathematics, but it is a substantial sum over time!


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