“Sustaining an audience is hard,” Bruce Springsteen once said. “It demands a consistency of thought, of purpose, and of action over a long period of time.”
He was talking about his route to music stardom, yet his words are just as applicable to the world of customer experience.
Delivering a consistently good customer experience is exceptionally powerful, especially at a time when the number of channels to market is growing and consumers more empowered.
The three keys to consistency
1. Consistency across the customer journey
Along their journey, a customer might first engage a sales rep, then customer support, then an account manager. It's imperative that each and every one one of these touch points delivers a consistent experience.
Your team must know the overall message you want to deliver—half your team can't be offering a particular kind of experience while the other half provides something completely different. Quality is of particular concern; though what the person does for the customer at each individual stage may be different, the quality of the experience they provide needs to be consistently exceptional.
Getting executive-level buy-in is imperative in this regard. Businesses must have policies that spell out exactly what is expected of their team—and how each individual team member, regardless of their position, can achieve that expectation.
2. Consistency in customer reactions
Trust matters in business. It is one of, if not the most significant, drivers of loyalty. Studies have found that customers who trust a company are far more likely to be loyal—and considering how valuable repeat customers and brand promoters are, it is an unwise company that betrays that trust.
It can be as simple as failing to provide the same level of service between brand experiences, resulting in a once-happy customer abandoning your business due to a lack of emotional consistency. They were happy, now they're not—inconsistent.
The key to success in this arena is answering two simple question's about your business: how do you plan on wowing your customers each and every time they come back, and how do you keep up that level of service? A one-and-down boost for a new customer isn't enough; your team needs to be able to impress at every stage of the journey.
3. Consistency in brand messaging
What your customers experience when they come to you needs to be consistent—but what about the outbound side? What about your messaging when you reach out to customers?
The way that emails are written, the content of your social media page, the script used during phone calls (cold or otherwise); all of this matters when speaking with your customers. An advert from marketing that seems to imply a bubbly, fun company won't parse with a sales email that is far more serious and conservative in tone.
Inconsistent brand positioning and messaging runs the risk of the customer misinterpreting your intent as a business, and therefore not being quite sure what to expect. That bubbly marketing advert might draw in a crowd that is then put off by the more conservative sales experience—lost customers that might have otherwise walked away satisfied.
A more consistent brand is a brand that has more consistently satisfied customers. That leads to greater loyalty, more brand promoters and generally a stronger bottom line—all built from a foundation of ensuring the customer experience is the same no matter where your customer interacts with you.
For more information about getting more from your customer base, download our free guide: 5 reasons to listen to your customers.