The Importance of Consistency

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.”

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