Reaping the Rewards of Consistency In Business

by Lori Saitz on June 7, 2010

Does your business have a revolving door?

Image: Kelly Midori, Creative Commons

What would happen if you were a customer at a store that changed its store hours all the time?

One Tuesday, when you show up at 2 pm, it’s open; the next Tuesday, it’s closed until 3:30. And the following week, it’s open from 9:00 until 1:00.

Might you get frustrated?

On top of that, this store changes its logo and storefront signage every week, as well as what kind of merchandise it carries.

Do you still want to be a customer?

That kind of inconsistency makes people nervous.

In fact, almost any kind of inconsistency, even if it’s not that extreme, makes people uncomfortable and if you’re in business, you probably don’t want to make your customers uncomfortable.

But you may unknowingly be doing just that.

Start with one of my pet peeves, your “from” name on your email.

When everyone only had one electronic device from which to send email, this wasn’t an issue. But now that you can send email from your desktop computer, your notebook, your phone, etc., you need to make sure your name on your outgoing email is consistent.

For one thing, it helps the recipient recognize when an email is from you and pay attention to it. Sending emails that arrive with “From” lines saying “Tim Smith” one time, “info at Our Company” the next and “TR314” the next is confusing to the recipient.

More than once, I’ve almost deleted an important email because I didn’t recognize whom it was coming from and thought it was spam.

Look at every piece of marketing material your company puts out, whether it’s online or off.

Does it have a consistent look and feel to it? Is the logo the same every time? Are your corporate colors consistent? You want your clients to feel comfortable and register a level of recognition.

Not everything has to look exactly the same and be boring; I’m saying make it familiar.

Think about what Starbucks does with its store interiors. You know you’re in a Starbucks when you walk in, but they don’t all look exactly the same.

They use similar elements to maintain consistency. Furthermore, a Cinnamon Dolce Frappucino® in Boston is going to taste exactly the same in San Diego. Customers expect, want and reward consistency.

When you pay attention to these details, you’ll create a greater level of trust with your clients, even if they don’t consciously realize it.

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Regular contributor Lori Saitz is founder of Zen Rabbit Baking Company. She helps people show appreciation for and give recognition to others. The main (delicious!) tool her team uses to help accomplish this important feat is through The Gratitude Cookie™. A thin, crunchy cross between a butter and a sugar cookie, The Gratitude Cookie is so named because if you’re eating the cookies, you’re encouraged to think about something you are grateful for as you munch on each one. Connect with her on Twitter.

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