Do you have a drink you really like? Imagine buying a six pack of that drink and when you open one and take that first taste it is completely different from the drink you thought you loved. Now you might think that perhaps that one was just off or a mistake so you open another to find that it tastes different than what you love and from the one you just opened. Now what? Are you happy? Are you curious, confused, or maybe even angry?
Why am I asking about this? I want you to think about consistency. I will bet your business’s product is very consistent. You have probably spent many painstaking hours developing processes and systems to make sure your product is the same every time. This is important, right? You want your customers to know what they’re getting. You want your customers to come back because they know the product is going to be consistent time after time.
Why then don’t more businesses take the same effort to make the rest of the experience uniform? I think customers not only want products to be the same, they want the entire experience to be the same. They want to know what they’re getting at each store, restaurant, hotel or whatever business they are working with. However, time after time, they are confronted with variations of policies, different standards, and diverse processes that confuse the experience.
Customers want to know what they’re going to get, not only in the product but in the experience overall. Do you want more loyal customers? Get to work on making your customers’ experience consistent from place to place and day to day. Is what customers see and feel the same? Do employee behaviors reflect a uniform culture that customers can expect to experience time and time again? These are all part of a consistent experience that your customers either want again and again or not. Much like that favorite drink, your customers’ experience must be not only pleasing but consistent.
QUESTION: Is your customers’ experience pleasing and consistent? Is what they see, feel and encounter the same at each location and each interaction? Are your policies and standards consistent everywhere and with every employee?