The Most Important Word in Business: Consistency

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be consistent. When I worked at a restaurant years ago, I was told that the one thing customers don’t pay any attention to unless it disappears is consistency. You can be as bold as you like in creating innovative products, but if you’re unable to satisfy your customers’ core needs, your repeat business will dwindle and you’ll have to drastically change something to survive.

I would like to suggest four things you can do to improve your company’s consistency:

Bull's eye arrows, Fishbowl BlogFocus on Customers’ Experience

Try not to think only in terms of cost efficiency and profitability. Those are definitely important, and they should be part of all business decisions, but in the end the most important thing is whether or not your customers are satisfied. Think about how you can best serve your customers, and then work out all the other details around that.

Train Employees

It’s not enough to make good plans. You need to make sure everyone in your company is aware of them so they can put them into practice. Train all of your new employees on your policies, and keep customer service as a top priority.

Control Inventory

Once you have the right plans and training in place, you should focus on controlling your inventory levels so you always have the right amount of inventory on hand to meet demand. By keeping a close eye on your inventory, you can also prevent overstocks. This is a good way to cut costs and improve customer service.

Build Strong Vendor Relationships

A good way to consistently provide products to customers is to cultivate relationships with multiple vendors. You can compare their performance and choose the ones with the best track records and prices to be your primary suppliers. You can also have backups in case you run into supply problems with one vendor.

Is it realistic to expect companies to be perfectly consistent all the time? Life is uncertain, but if you follow the steps above, you can increase your chances of being dependable for your customers. Sometimes the best we can do to be consistent is to plan for inconsistency.

Advertisements

About Robert Lockard

Robert Lockard is a copywriter with Fishbowl. He writes for several blogs about inventory management, manufacturing, QuickBooks and small business. Fishbowl Inventory is the #1-requested inventory management software for QuickBooks users. Robert enjoys running, reading, writing, spending time with his wife and children, and watching movies. His favorite movies include Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Fiddler on the Roof, Back to the Future and Lawrence of Arabia.
This entry was posted in supply chain management and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Most Important Word in Business: Consistency

  1. Consistency is important. If you slip in any of the areas you mentioned – service quality, product quality, delivery ,etc – customers will notice and may vote with their wallets by taking their business elsewhere. A company has to decide, which metrics best allow them to measure consistency or what I like to call the customer experience. I have found that customers will continue as repeat customers if you execute on providing them with a great experience and are consistent in doing so.

    Rindge Leaphart

    • Thank you for your comment. That’s a good point about using the right metrics. I should have gone into more detail on that in the blog post. You definitely have to pick your battles and make sure you’re tracking what’s most important to your customers. For example, if they’re flexible on the timing of deliveries, but they demand really high-quality products (like with electronics and other expensive items), that will give you a big hint about where to concentrate your efforts. Thanks again for sharing that. Have a great day.

  2. Pingback: The Simplest Way to Make Customers Happy | Fishbowl Inventory Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s