How do we create a consistency with both product and experience in our business?
Why is it so important to do so?
The answer seems ½ obvious. If we don’t have a consistently great product (like a cinnamon roll), then people won’t return to buy more. . . . moist and yummy one day, dry and overcooked the next? Yuck.
If the product is inconsistent customers don’t return. They certainly won’t bring friends, buy gift certificates, or leave awesome Yelp reviews.
No matter what your product (or service item) is, most likely you’ve got the consistent part down. It’s fun! It’s predictable. It’s measurable.
However, product consistency alone won’t grow our businesses as they can/or should.
Providing a consistent experience. THAT is a challenge. It’s a challenge, especially when you have two ever moving, ever changing, unpredictable parts: employees and customers.
People are messy. Their lives are messy. They bring that mess into your business whether you want them to or not.
Do we just hope for the best? How can we effectively prepare for unpredictability? What are some facts about the Customer Experience?
- 66% of consumers who switched brands did so because of poor service.
Esteban Kolsky – CEO of thinkJar
- 85% of customer churn due to poor service was preventable.
Esteban Kolsky – CEO of thinkJar
- 78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience.
Help Scout Blog
- News of bad customer service reaches more than twice as many ears as praise for a good service experience.
Office of Consumer Affairs
- On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase.
Ouch! 1-4 are painful (#2 especially so!) and we don’t want our business to be contributing to those statistics. Do you think your business has contributed to any of the above statistics?
I recently did a bit of “market research” of my own. I had a small sample size, three businesses.
With all three of these businesses I already loved the product.
Product aside, I wanted to gather a bit of data about my experience.
Am I having a consistent experience that motivates me to return, refer, and give great reviews?
Here’s the result from my most favorite and most frequented business:
Documented Visit #1:
I entered and within one minute the owner came out and greeted me by name, “Hi Samantha”. We proceeded to chat about product and I left with three extra items not on my list. Win for the business! What owner wouldn’t want a customer to come in for two items and leave with five?
Documented Visit #2:
I hustled into the store; it was eight minutes to closing so I wanted to get in and out quick. Upon entering I thought for a moment they had forgotten to lock the door because no one, neither customer nor staff, was there. The lights were on, so I figured someone might be in the back. I chose my items, two of which I had a question about, and waited one-two minutes before someone came out. The employee said “hi”.
“I’m so glad I got here before you closed, I needed to pick up these things really quick for tonight. Do you know the difference between A and B?”
“No, I’ve never used either.”
Ok. Not the best trained answer. Flat. However, I do love these products so made my best guess and decided. I took the items to the register where the employee needed to put some things together. I reached for my credit card and realized my phone (carrying my credit card) was not on me. Cripes! The employee knew I was hurrying because of our earlier conversation and my body language.
“Oh crud. I ran in here without my credit card! I’m close and will run out to get it and be right back. I’ll be really quick.”
The employee looked me in the eye, no smile, and said:
“We close in three minutes.”
Instant trigger. I was hot in a flash. I was well aware of the time. I had made it perfectly clear I was hurrying the entire time I was in the store. If the employee had greeted me when I arrived, we would have an extra minute or even two at this point! I looked at her and replied:
“Well, you’re here to sell product. I’m here to buy it. I’m sure we can get this done very quickly.”
I hurried out to get my money and figured I’d be back about the same time the employee had finished putting the items together.
Two minutes later I returned to the store and guess what? The lights had been turned out.
- If it was my first visit do you think I would have returned?
- What would my Google or Yelp review look like?
- Could this employee have communicated ANY more clearly that I was not welcome?
I was out of the store no later than four minutes after closing.
Documented Visit #3.
Owner greeted me with “hello”. I proceeded to get some items and had a good interaction.
Unfortunately, this inconsistent experience
happens far more often than owners
would like to believe.
I see it time and time again, this inconsistency with experience, and it makes me angry. It makes me angry on so many levels:
- apathy by employees
- lack of training purpose and mission
- employees are unaware of the tremendous positive impact they can have on each and every person they’re in contact with
- money lost or pissed down the drain that should be growth for the business
Small business owners work SO hard. When they’re off, they’re leaving their business in the hands of their employees. It’s a big ask and a big responsibility. It could reap big rewards.
Training your employees is essential when creating a consistent experience. Don’t leave this vital part of your business up to chance. You need to control the narrative. You need to make sure your staff accurately and consistently reflects your brand in order to grow your business most effectively.
There’s hope! There’s training! There are resources!
Where to start? Pop on over to this blog: Easy as 1, 2, 3 – Simple as do re mi
This sets the foundational building blocks to helping your employees create a consistent Customer Experience.
Creating both a consistent Product and consistent Customer Experience translates to so much more than phenomenal monetary growth. But, I think that is a rather nice place to begin.
Is this post helpful? I hope so! Let me know how your training wins.
Grow your business through creating excellent Customer Experiences.