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In Praise Of Consistency

In my personal life, I tend to be drawn to consistent experiences. When I want something really good to drink, I go to Starbucks and get a Grande Soy Latte. It tastes the same everywhere I go. When I want a really delicious dessert, I head for the warm, chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream- rarely a bad choice!  I have my favorite brands of yogurt, wine and coffee so when I consume them, I get that consistent, good experience.

I am a big fan of consistency, and it is just as important in my personal life as it is in the business world.

1) Hold The Happy Dance

You may have heard the phrase “one month is not a trend”. Sometimes we see a blip in results up or down, and there may be a tendency to overreact to what we see.  However, it is not until we observe the results repeated over time, that we know we have a true problem or that we have actually improved performance. We must careful not to react too soon until we truly understand what the information is telling us. I often joke that if we reach certain goals I will do a “happy dance” to celebrate. I only dance or get stressed out about the consistent trends, not the blips.

2) Predictability Can Be Learned

We all have the power to take less predictable events and make them more predictable. I am going to use our foster dog, Theo, as an example. When we first brought Theo home, he was very unpredictable. We cleaned up some messes, threw away some chewed shoes and socks and kept him in his crate whenever we were not home or could not supervise him. Over time he learned more appropriate behavior, from observing our other dogs and hearing the word “no” a few hundred times. Several months later he is much more predictable and we can actually leave him out of his crate when we are not home. He is more relaxed and we are too.. Good dog!

3) Consistency Builds Confidence, and Confidence Builds Loyalty

Blogger Steve Ferrante recently shared in this post that, “No customer likes surprises when it comes to doing business with any type of service provider. When customers can count on consistently great service each time they do business with you, their confidence increases and they are far less likely to shop around.

But when the customer’s ­experience is inconsistent — ­exceptional one visit and so-so or poor the next — the customer’s confidence is compromised and, influenced by the perceived risk, they are more likely to consider competing ­alternatives.

Simply put, if the customer doesn’t trust that your business will consistently meet or ­exceed their expectations to ­deliver great results, they will not consistently return or ­become loyal customers.”

In customer support and business operations we have a great opportunity to provide this consistent experience and, in turn, have a major impact on customer loyalty and business performance.

4) Consistent From End To End

When a customer works with your business they have touch-points across many areas from sales, to services to support. A consistent experience in support is not enough. You need to think about the end to end experience from many dimensions. This includes the company branding, the flow and methods of communication, and the experience interacting with employees.

Too often we celebrate successes in silos without considering whether we were successful end to end. This is often related to a company’s measurements systems. Do your measurements celebrate just the dessert or the appetizer, main course, dessert and after dinner cocktail?

5) Some Other Fans Of Consistency

  • “In baseball, my theory is to strive for consistency, not to worry about the numbers. If you dwell on statistics you get shortsighted, if you aim for consistency, the numbers will be there at the end.”  Tom Seaver
  • “Getting an audience is hard. Sustaining an audience is hard. It demands a consistency of thought, of purpose, and of action over a long period of time.” Bruce Springsteen
  • “It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.” Anthony Robbins
  • “Success is an outcome of conscious choices pursued consistently and tirelessly.” Vishwas Chavan
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