Consistency may not sound like a very exciting quality – always the same, day in and day out – but it is an extremely important part of customer service. Delivering good customer service all the time creates confidence. Customers need to know that they can consistently expect a high level of service when they do business with your company.
Customer loyalty is based on this concept. Intense customer loyalty doesn’t happen overnight – it is built over time as you provide good customer service that is consistent and predictable. If the level of customer service that you offer varies from day to day, customers will not gain the confidence that will keep them coming back. They need to be able to rely on a positive experience every time.
Brand loyalty is based on three quality service experiences that work together. These brand loyalty prerequisites are:
- Product Quality – It’s no surprise that first and foremost, the product or service that you are offering must work as promised. The quality has to be there, or you’re in trouble before you even begin.
- Customer Service – Even the best product will gather dust in a warehouse if poor customer service drives customers away. However, the customer service that you deliver doesn’t have to be an over-the-top WOW experience every time – just a little better than average will do.
- Consistency – This is related to both of the qualities above. Customers need to have confidence that both product and service will be consistent. When that happens – they know what to expect and get it every time – their experience becomes predictable.
It’s easy to see how consistency is an essential aspect of customer service and product quality, and that all three are necessary. The best customer service in the world can’t make up for a poor quality product that doesn’t work. Likewise, even if you have a great product or service to offer, lousy service will drive customers away. If the product or customer service is inconsistent, the customer won’t know what to expect and the confidence level will drop. All three of these – product, service and consistency – must be present and working together.
Of course, even the best companies aren’t perfect, and problems will happen. People make mistakes, sometimes products fail, but you can still maintain confidence and loyalty if customers know they can count on you. It’s all in the recovery.
When a problem – an inconsistency – occurs, if it is mismanaged, confidence and loyalty will plummet. However, handle it well and it can actually be a brand booster.
An online review from a customer of an Ace Hardware store in Washington, DC, is the perfect example of the importance of consistency:
“I want to know how these guys hire their staff. I’ve been going there for three years, and every single time I’ve been in – about three dozen times – I’ve received excellent customer service.”This is exactly what you want customers to say. Consistency means high quality service all of the time. If you want to create customer loyalty you must …
Amaze Every Customer Every Time.
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About Shep Hyken
Shep Hyken is a customer experience expert and the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. He is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and has been inducted into the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement in the speaking profession.
Shep works with companies and organisations who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. For more articles on customer service and business, go to http://www.hyken.com.