Trust and Authenticity is The Key to Loyalty For Everyone

“T he key to loyalty for millennials is trust and authenticity” was a statement highlighted in this article pertaining to the biggest problem loyalty programs think they face — not that a loyalty program can think — which was written by Gary Leff of View From The Wing.

Trust and Authenticity is The Key to Loyalty For Everyone

In what is otherwise a good article, I would argue that the key to loyalty for anyone — not only millennials — is trust and authenticity, which I have covered in numerous articles here at The Gate. This article highlights a conversation which I had with Stephen M. R. Covey of FranklinCovey pertaining to the state of trust in commercial aviation is one of many examples…

…and as implied by this article written by Edward Pizzarello of Pizza in Motion, profits and cost-cutting seem to be more important to companies these days than excellent service to customers — and not just airlines.

For example, I have tried to help someone pertaining to a customer service issue with the frequent guest loyalty program of a major lodging company; but I was unsuccessful. I intend to detail what happened in a future article.


I believe that the seemingly unquenchable thirst of maximizing profits as a result of short-term thinking have led the management at some companies to lose sight of what is really most important in the first place: serving the customer in his or her best interests. That has led to the creation of policies so rigid that the management of companies would rather lose customers than expend some effort to retain them — and in my opinion, that is part of the reason for the deterioration of trust and authenticity in the eyes of the customer.

In addition to what I consider a failure of customer service recovery, I also intend to give at least one example of how companies should approach the balance of satisfying the customer while protecting revenue through policies.

Management at some companies need to realize that loyalty cannot be bought outright. It must be cultivated with care. True loyalty is when a customer weathers the tough times with the company and does not flee to the competition at the first sign of a problem…

…and that sort of loyalty is extremely difficult to create and maintain — which is why many companies seem to fail miserably at it.

Photograph ©2009 by Brian Cohen.

One thought on “Trust and Authenticity is The Key to Loyalty For Everyone”

  1. Christian says:

    I agree completely with your points. On a Cathay Pacific flight a few days ago, I saw a commercial that said that “trust cannot be replaced”. I find that sentiment admirable and absolutely correct. The problem is, airline and hotel programs seem to find the concept anathema to their bottom line, if not their very existence. Pick whatever demographic group that you like as an example, but no one likes being on the brunt of getting yet another “enhancement”. It’s a bit odd how all of these programs are doing their best to squeeze the customer in every possible way while raking in huge amounts of cash. When times are good would seem the ideal chance to spend a bit to keep those same good times rolling when leaner times come around, but apparently, the major players in the travel industry are confident enough that the continued damage that the programs are enduring will quickly be forgotten due to some promotion when the next downturn occurs. Maybe they’re right, but it seems a bit shortsighted and unlikely, at least in my view.

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