Consistency is one of those things that customers value more than entrepreneurs. It’s a really important factor in the customer experience that very small businesses focus on. I think, partially, because lack of consistency rarely shows up in a survey or comment card. We hear about quality, service, timing, etc. But rarely do we put our finger on the fact that our experience is just unpredictable.
I ran into this recently as a customer.
The place where I stop to get breakfast recently changed a procedure. Before, I got a to go box and filled my container with my food and went to the check out to pay. Now, the staff serves it for me. At first, I was actually (almost subconsciously) offended. What? Do they not trust me? But then I got past that and decided that it was fine.
The problem with the experience now is that it is simply not consistent. Some days there is a person right there. Some days not. Some days I get a normal serving. Some days it’s a giant serving. They put the food in different places.
At the end of the day, the quality of the food is the same. The price is still a great value. But I just don’t know what to expect.
They really have not done anything “wrong” with the service or quality or timing.
This is not a rant to complain about my breakfast. It’s a reminder that, as a company, we need to work on producing a consistent experience for our customers. Obviously we want it to be consistently great! But we need it to be the same for customers each and every time.
It sounds “over-easy.” But most of the time it’s “scrambled.”