The Power of Consistency


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Very often when I conduct workshops or deliver keynote service presentations, I usually ask the audience to share their personal service experiences.  At one such workshop, I had a volunteer who raised her hand excitedly, anxious to share.  She told the story of an experience she had fifteen years earlier.  I told her it must be memorable if she remembered what happened fifteen years earlier, and she assured me that it was.  In this particular instance, she wanted to purchase a particular item, and kept going back to the same department store to buy it.  Six times she went to the store; six times the store was out of stock.  Finally the sixth time, an employee told her he’d write down her name, and call her when the item came in.  And he did; he actually called her!  She was so happy, she wrote the president of the company a letter, letting him know what a valuable employee he had.  She hoped the employee won an award.  At the end of her story, my eager volunteer looked at me smiling, remembering her experience. 

I asked her what she thought the experience was for subsequent customers to the store who similarly wanted to purchase an item out of stock.  She reflected a moment, and then stated the obvious.  Subsequent customers probably had the same experience she had the first five times. 

So is the situation at most businesses today.  The problem isn’t that there aren’t good service experiences to be had.  Everyone reading this blog right now can probably identify a time when their clients received great service.  The problem is that the experience is not consistent.   

Remember this.  Even the worst firms, businesses, restaurant or entrepreneurs out there deliver good service once in a while.  Inconsistently delivered service will not differentiate a firm from their competition; great service doesn’t happen by accident or simply by having a desire to offer great service.  And similar to the department store in today’s story, where inconsistent service experiences are the norm, and who subsequently developed just one advocate in fifteen years, the power of a consistent service experience is never realized.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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