Have you ever patronized a company and was satisfied with their services, only to return few days later and was served in a terrible way? That is inconsistency. Companies like that cannot thrive because they are taking customers for granted.
I stopped buying a particular soap because I discovered that the quality reduces each time I purchased it. I used to like a particular airline many years ago. It was my favorite. Unfortunately, they started taking their customers for granted. Sometimes, 10:AM flight will take off by 2:PM. When I found out that their inconsistency was affecting my itinerary, I switched over to another airline.
If customers finds it difficult to buy from you the second time, you must do something about it. Michael Gerber shared an experience in this regard. “I went to a barber who, in our first meeting, gave me one of the best haircuts I had ever had. He was a master with the scissors and used them exclusively, never resorting to electric shears as so many others do.
Before cutting my hair, he insisted on washing it, explaining that the washing made cutting easier. During the haircut, one of his assistants kept my cup of coffee fresh. In all, the experience was delightful, so I made an appointment to return.
When I returned, however, everything has changed. Instead of using the scissors exclusively, he used the shears about 50 percent of the time. He not only didn’t wash my hair but never mentioned it. The assistant did bring me a cup of coffee, but only once, never to return. Nonetheless, the haircut was again excellent.
Several weeks later, I returned for a third appointment. This time, the barber did wash my hair, but after cutting it, preliminary to a final trim. This time he again used the scissors exclusively, but, unlike the first two times, no coffee was served, although he did ask would I like a glass of wine.
At first I thought it might be the assistant’s day off, but she soon appeared, busily working with the inventory near the front of the shop. As I left, something in me decided not to go back. It certainly wasn’t the haircut, he did an excellent job. It wasn’t the barber. He was pleasant, affable, seemed to know his business. It was something more essential than that. There was absolutely no consistency to the experience.
The experience created at the first meeting were violated at each subsequent visit. I wasn’t sure what to expect. And something in me wanted to be sure. I wanted an experience I could repeat by making the choice to return.
The unpredictability said nothing about the barber, other than that he was constantly and arbitrarily changing my experience for me. He was in control of my experience, not I. And he demonstrated little sensitivity to the impact of his behavior on me.
He was running the business for him, not for me. And by doing so, he was depriving me of the experience of making a decision to patronize his business for my own reasons, whatever they might have been.
It didn’t matter what I wanted. It didn’t matter that I enjoyed the sound of the scissors and somehow equated them with a professional haircut. It didn’t matter that I enjoyed being waited on by his assistant.
It didn’t matter that I enjoyed the experience of having my hair washed before he set to work and that I actually believed it would improve the quality of the haircut. I would have been embarrassed to ask for these things, let alone to give my reasons for wanting them.
They were all so totally emotional, so illogical. How could I have explained them, or justified them, without appearing to be a boob. What the barber did was to give me a delightful experience and then take it back.”
Now think about it, if each customer of that barber keep leaving the way Michael Gerber left, will he still be in business for the next one more year? The answer is no. Inconsistency has closed down many business. Your inability to repeat sterling performance is an enemy of business growth.
So, dear business owner, find out the areas you and your staff are failing woofly. Find out the areas you’re not consistent and do something about it immediately. Whenever we consult for companies, we usually tell them to stop taking customers for granted. Each customer has at least five persons he or she can introduce your products to. So imaging the ripple effect of inconsistency.
Gregory Ciotti said, “A satisfied customer is one who will continue to buy from you, seldom shop around, refer other customers and in general be a superstar advocate for your business.” There is a Gucci family slogan that states; “Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten.” We can actually help you to set up a system that would guarantee consistent customer satisfaction. Kindly scroll up, click on Customer Service button and sign up, or simply call +234 (0) 7032681154. See you at the top!
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