Consistency in Business for Success

“Trust is built with consistency.” -Lincoln Chafee

Consistency in business seems obvious enough to not need examination or be written about. However, many companies – both big and small – seem to err on this aspect and operate in a disorderly, mercurial and haphazard manner. This leads to operational inefficiency, serious customer service lapses and a poor working environment for the employees. Businesses need consistency to succeed and consistency in business can be defined as the ability of the company to provide reliable, dependable and foreseeable service and product quality that customers love. Consistency in business covers the entire gamut – customer service, employee policies, communication and messaging, brand identity and other such aspects. Consistency in business is about driving customers and other stakeholders to identify with your company and associate positive and healthy practices with it. With time, consistency in business is sure to build trust and dependability – which are two of the pillars that support any company even in the worst of times.

Customers never seem to have enough time – you would know that as a customer too – and if they need to chase behind a company to get basic service and an expected standard of product quality and pricing, they will soon switch to a company that respects their time. In the current scenario it seems preposterous that customers should be left wondering whether they would get the same service across all channels of communication and every time they interact with the company. Imagine visiting the store of a company in one location and receiving great service and all the products they need and then visiting a store of the same company at a different location with poor service and empty shelves – what do you think the customer would believe? If a customer is doing business with you, it means that they prefer you over others but without consistency in business, it would be impossible for them to trust you and continue doing business with you.

Smart business owners understand that high standards of customer service play an indispensable role in achieving and sustaining success. Even with high quality service, they are aware that customer loyalty and profitability will not happen with one-off instances. In order to build strong relationships with customers and ensure success, consistency in business through service is a must. Consistency in business translates to an on-going and relentless pursuit by companies to win and sustain the trust and loyalty of their customers and also of their other stakeholders. Consistency in business is about delivering on promises each time, providing consistent pricing across all locations and ensuring delightful experiences through each touch-point and every channel of communication.

When a customer receives great service and a memorable experience on their first interaction, they are more likely to return. However, if the next experience is not consistent with the great first one, a company can be sure that the customer will not return. Consistency in business will ensure that not only will the customer return, they would also recommend your company to others. While it may seem tough to sustain the high standards expected by customers, it really is not. If your company is customer-focused, you would be able to provide uniform and stable high quality service each time, setting the benchmark for what customers can and should expect.

Consistency in business – every aspect of it – translates to customer satisfaction. They are comfortable in the knowledge that your company will give them what they want and when they want, consistently and this is what makes customers believe that the company they are in business with truly cares for them. Consistently great service and interactions makes the customers feel valued and important – two of the prime reasons that customers stick with a company and also advocate its services and products to others. Customer relationships are extremely delicate – almost like walking on egg shells and they can be destroyed in an instant, despite the years taken to build them. Not being able to provide consistency in business, especially in customer service, can shatter the customer’s trust and cause them to leave your company for your closest competitor, which is never acceptable for any business.

We are not suggesting that customers are unreasonable – in fact if you have served them well in the past, they are more than willing to overlook some minor lapse, provided your company is quick on service recovery. For them consistency in business means that they would be treated with respect and importance, there would be no instances of rudeness and lax behaviour, there would be no broken promises, they would not need to exert more effort than they should to get what they deserve – these are just some of the many aspects that come under the purview of consistency in business. In fact, given the cut-throat environment in the business world, it is a given that competition is just waiting for a company to mess up so that they can swoop in and grab up the potentially lost business.

Most of the companies that we know of as being large and successful today weren’t always this way. They started out small and with few resources and a small customer base. However, their practices, customer service and product quality all spelt consistency in business and over time they became strong and powerful, building customer relationships that are almost impenetrable and seem undefeatable. Consistency in business is about unrelenting customer focus – the kind that builds huge reserves of customer trust, loyalty, repeat business and advocacy for your company. Consistency in business is not about providing for the customer and their needs when it is convenient and possible for your company – that is self-service and will not take your company to great heights or encourage your customers to put it in the list of niche companies that know how to care for their customers. Great service and great products each time guarantees success and builds on the already set down strong foundation and this is what separates a company from all the other players in the market. In the melee of companies, information, products and services, it is very easy to get lost and remain unheard – consistency in business – top class – will allow your company to effortless ‘swim’ to the top and remain in the forefront.

Consistency in business means that the company will do anything to ensure that customers and other stakeholders receive what they should regularly and without breaks. It is about – responding to a customer when they have even the smallest query related to a product they bought, or paying attention to a distressed employee, or ensuring that vendors and suppliers get paid on time, investors get the kind of returns they were promised – consistently and relentlessly. Consistency in business also prevents a company’s reputation from being tainted especially since customers can easily post a negative comment, over the highly visible social media sites that would get read by thousands in a matter of seconds.

Consistency in business, even though this aspect may be neglected, is also extremely vital for the employees of the company. Consistency in the company’s standards, policies and culture will ensure that employees too, maintain a standard of work performance and remain conscientious about their output and deliverables. They would be mindful of providing great customer service each time. Within the work environment too, when each person is doing their job consistently, there is less stress and reduced number of conflicts and this in turn ensures high morale and boosted self-esteem of each employee. The employees would believe that their company would consistently put in place processes and policies that are beneficial for them and hence this encourages employees to stick with the company for longer.

Consistency in business does not mean that a company is not flexible and adaptable and neither does it mean that it follows a boring and rote existence. On the contrary, consistency in business brings about agility and swiftness in the company’s responses and actions and is often the difference between success and failure for any company.

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