Have you ever been in a morning rush and stopped by a small business to run in and make a quick purchase only to find the closed sign was still up? Pretty frustrating right? Well, that recently happened to me.
I was in need of a special battery for my wireless microphone that I had to have for a virtual workshop I was presenting that morning. I hopped in my car and drove to the nearest small business electronic store ( I always prefer shopping at a small business), to make the purchase. When I arrived, I looked at the time and glanced down at their business hours on the door. They were supposed to be open at 8:00 a.m.—it was 8:10. I’ve shopped there a few times before at the same time of day, so this was very strange.
My immediate thought was: “Do I wait?” And, ultimately since I was in a hurry, the answer was no. Since I didn’t know when they would eventually open, I decided to cut my losses and drive to the nearest Walmart to purchase my battery. I knew they would be open.
That morning, this small electronic shop deviated from what I was used to. I didn’t complain—but I didn’t stick around. Any failure in consistency forces customers to face this dilemma: do they stay and suffer an inconvenience to do business with you, or do they find a better alternative?
As in any business, I know that everyone drops the ball once in a while. Things happen and I could have certainly empathized. But as a customer, that one time was all it took for me to move on.
Why Consistency Matters
75% of consumers “expect consistent experiences across multiple channels.”
75% are “likely to switch businesses if they don’t get it.”
To get a customer, the first experience has to be great. But to keep a customer, future experiences have to be just as good, if not better. Not only in person but through all customer touch points. The bottom line is that once a customer decides to buy from you, they expect the same level of service every single time they interact with your business.
Once your customer gets past the first curiosity in trying out your product or services and had a pleasant experience, they’ll come back and choose you over your competitors. You remove the burden of uncertainty, the burden of wondering if you’ll meet their expectations. That’s why consistency matters.
When you say what you do and do what you say, you’ll be seen as reliable and dependable which is what all customers want. If your customers will trust you to deliver on your promise every time. it will create loyal customers. Consistency is what keeps your customers coming back.
The Price of Inconsistency
Once your customers get accustomed to a certain experience, they’ll be less likely to accept a significant change in that experience—unless it’s for the better.
In this digital era, unhappy customers aren’t only sharing their bad experiences with people they know. They’re sharing with the whole world. The last thing you want is to wake up to a bunch of bad reviews on Facebook from the very same people who used to sing your praises. That would be a disaster!
You don’t want to learn the hard way that inconsistency can be costly. The biggest mistake that small businesses make is in thinking that, as long as the customers arrives and we give them great service, then that’s all that matters. But that’s not the case. You have to be consistent with all touchpoints—not just the ones during the sale.
But there’s a way for you to keep your customer experience consistent and avoid these missteps. Try looking at these:
- Make sure all staff realize that every customer counts. How many customers could you possible lose if you don’t open on time, or answer the phone before 3 rings?
- Treat every customer like you would want to be treated. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
- Map out your customer experience journey at every touch point and make sure you provide the same consistent experience every time.
- Ask the staff or team where there could be areas to improve the consistency of the customer experience and even exceed the expectations of your customers.
- Make sure you are consistent in returning phone calls, email messages and web-site inquiries in responding to customers.
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We all struggle with change. As a business, you have to make sure that you are not the cause for your customer’s to struggles. Don’t give them a reason to leave you or shop somewhere else. Being consistent in delivering a customer experience will delight your customers, have them share great reviews and tell others. Now that is Magical!
Want help in delivering a consistent and Magical Experience that will attract more customers and build loyalty for your business? Contact Coach John today and schedule your FREE Strategy Session at firstname.lastname@example.org.