When I go to my favorite restaurant in town and order my favorite dish, nothing is more disappointing when the dish is DIFFERENT from last time. This is frustrating! In the case of many local restaurants, the most consistent thing they deliver — is inconsistency.
I can’t think of any business in the entire world that has perfected consistency better than McDonalds. With over 200,000 stores they have perfected it in their brand execution, advertising, food, customer experience, etc. Consistency is their biggest customer promise. Whether you eat a cheeseburger in Ohio, China or Mexico, it tastes the same; it’s made the same and delivered the same. You know exactly what to expect when you see the golden arches. Whether you have one store or 200,000 — delivering on a consistency promise is critical to customer retention.
How do you get there? Define your customer experience, from the moment they walk in the door to how they return defective products.
Exercise: Be a customer in your own business and design a customer experience map based on your brand position or value proposition (hopefully you read my last blog post). Once you have defined that, make sure it resides in every customer touch point you can imagine — ads, store front, front door, welcome mat, shelf tags, merchandising signage, displays, service from employees, website, receipts, return policy, customer service training, hiring process, and more. Think both internally and externally.
Define your customers experience at every customer touch point and enlist systems and processes that ensure consistency.