Consistency is one of the greatest challenges in customer service. Whether you are a solopreneur or a Fortune 500 company, consistency can be hard to get your arms around.
Consistency is hard because it takes effort and discipline, not only on the individual level but on the much trickier team level. For example, in the video below, I tell the story of one of my favorite restaurants that used to have its servers write personalized or creative notes on napkins and tickets.
This practice was a regular one for awhile, then it stopped. While the gesture was an ancillary touch (the absence of which was certainly not going to make me stop eating there), I certainly noticed when it didn’t happen.
I had become used to a certain experience, and I noticed when it changed, especially since it was not replaced with anything similar.
Coming from retail service businesses, I know how difficult consistency can be. Creating a consistent service that is also customized and individualized presents many challenges. Here are just a few of the dynamics that have to be considered in creating a consistent experience:
And that is just a partial list for a small business; at scale, these challenges are magnified tenfold.
As evidenced by the partial list of questions above, a huge assortment of variables go into making a customer experience consistent. I’m a firm believer in The Pareto Principle, of starting with the vital few inputs that will give you the most results. For most organizations, the following three areas of focus will yield the most results in the quickest period of time.
Customer service consistency is not a destination; it is an ongoing journey that organizations must embark upon anew every day.
Make sure you always consider the customer’s experience first. If you think about how consistency or its absence will affect your customers’ experiences with your brand, you will always have a good idea of where to focus first.
By Adam Toporek. Adam Toporek is an internationally recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and workshop leader. He is the author of Be Your Customer's Hero: Real-World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines (2015), as well as the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog and co-host of the Crack the Customer Code podcast.