In a competitive environment, ensuring that our organisations offer good customer service can help create a real competitive advantage. Understandably, organisations of all sizes—from midsized to multinational—have spent time re-designing their processes and considering the journey that their customers go through when interacting with the company. Providing a slick, informative and helpful service that meets the needs of our customers will make it more likely that they come back to us. Customer experience can be examined from many different angles; this article considers the consistency of experience.
Offering an experience that is both good and consistent is crucial. It is extremely frustrating, as a customer, when a company offers an excellent experience one day but a mediocre one the next. When we provide a great customer experience, it raises the bar; quite rightly, our customers will expect a similar experience the next time. If we fall short of this in the future, we cause disappointment and frustration. Imagine the following hypothetical example:
A supermarket offers a home delivery service. Week after week, the service works well, with items being delivered on time and as expected. The driver is always courteous, and helps the customer carry the bags into the kitchen.
One week, the driver is rushed and unable to help the customer carry their bags into the house (“We don’t actually have to do that…”). The customer realises, in the rush, that a bag has been missed. The customer rings the call centre, and after a protracted discussion, the call centre agent issues a refund… but this leaves the customer in a situation where they have to go and visit a supermarket to obtain the missing items, even though they had opted for home delivery.
This inconsistency in experience, if it persists (even occasionally), may convince the customer to change to a different supplier.