Consistency builds Trust and Loyalty
Eliminating ‘silos’, Building Customer Hubs, Unifying information and more
Ever since I started working as a business owner, I’ve always done my absolute best to stay consistent. I believe that many businesses go bankrupt because of the seemingly simple reason that they don’t do what they promise.
When I say I’ll do something, I do it — If I say to be there at a meeting, I’ll be there, on time. Every time that I create a new business-process such as extra services, I make sure that I can deliver. In my own experience, consistency might be the biggest factor in managing a business. In this article, I would like to tell you more about the importance of being consistent, the impact on your customers, and what to think about in terms of consistency. I invite you to read on and learn how to grow your business.
What are the 5 biggest benefits of consistency?
1. Consistency allows improvements to be measured
You have to try out things to know if it fits your daily schedule and after some time, you can decide if it works in your specific situation or if you have to try something else.
I tend to give possible new solutions 3 to 6 months before I measure the outcome, sometimes it works and other times not, but that is the nice thing about being able to simply measure the outcome. If it works, great! If not, no big deal, try something else. But give it some time before you decide on it. By giving it enough time, your work will benefit from this peace of mind, and the service or product you provide will be so much better as well.
2. Consistency keeps the message alive
Promising things and actually doing them should always have the same result if you want your message to be heard. Actions speak louder than words goes the saying, keep that in mind. Consistency in your business serves as a model for yourself, your employees, and your customers. Show them that you care, and they will care about you and your business.
3. Consistency creates accountability
Every time I work together with other people, I ask them to take responsibility for their own actions and the outcomes. They do and should expect exactly the same thing from me, improving communication towards other people is a priority for me. I also set up fixed moments in the week for meetings etc, this way, every person involved knows what to expect making planning easier.
4. Consistency shows relevancy
Not only your customers need you to stay predictable in your communication, your employees (if you have them) also need you to stay consistent. The same is true in marketing and other initiatives. A lot of companies, big and small, don’t even bother to wait for results before ending new tryouts which is a shame if you ask me. It does never hurt to run several different advertisements, email-newsletter, blog-entries, etc… Give new initiatives a chance to show measurable results before making the decision to continue to use them or stop them.
5. Consistency establishes a reputation
A track record is often nothing more than a record of the success a business had. You will not have a good track record of your successes when you change tactics every so often, this is a problem for many businesses. Lots of businesses go out of business because they do not follow the path they’ve set up for themselves, their potential customers will also see this and perhaps think ‘If they cannot even chase their own goals, how are they going to help me?!’
What does lack of consistency mean for your business?
Customer service is a good example of an essential part of any business, and being consistent with customers builds trust more than anything else you can do to establish a good reputation. When you fail to communicate in a direct and consistent way, the reputation that you’ve worked so hard for will simply fade away…
Customers do expect any business to reply in a timely manner and help them consistently with great information, no matter which channel they use to contact businesses. And I believe customers should expect businesses to be on top of their game when it comes to helping customers.
A lack of consistency comes down to a lack of joined thinking I believe, in order to help the customer the best you can, you need all the involved persons to share the same ideas and goals. This also includes having a central information system where is information is stored and easily accessible for each employee. Having a system like this will make your outgoing communication consistent and easy to understand.
Research reveals only 23% of companies provided consistent information across two channels, and just 8% were consistent across three channels. A lot of companies claim that they use certain social-media channels to answer questions, but research shows that in many cases this is simply not true. So make sure you do as you say, and you do it consistently.
69% of the companies included in this research failed to answer questions in a consistent way, showing us that this is a common problem, overlooked by many. In other circumstances, companies answered differently between different channels, their answers on social-media did not match what they said in their email.
This problem seems to be the biggest problem with companies in the food and drinks sector, none of the researched companies provided matching answers. The researched insurance and fashion retailers provided most of the matching answers, so they can teach many companies a thing or two about consistency.
Many customers have problems due to inconsistent companies, so how can you provide a good service for your customers?
Three ways to enhance consistency:
1. Unifying information and answers
By centralizing all the information, you are sure to always deliver the same exact information to your customers. You have different CRM-software that you can choose from, in this article you’ll read more about them.
2. Eliminating ‘silos’
As shown before, many companies do not provide matching answers between different channels. This is a result of different teams thinking in ‘silos’, which means they do not share any information with other colleagues and/or other teams. If you want to have a good brand reputation, make sure that each employee shares the same values and information, no matter in which team they work. Try to make sure that everybody solves customer-pain points in the same way by using the same information stored in a central databank.
3. You can try developing Customer Hubs
Most customer journeys come across multiple departments of the company, they have interactions with employees working within different teams. Employees used to work in individual departments without much communication between teams, luckily this is changing. Companies tend to make combined teams these days, consisting of employees who handle the sales, finance, marketing, and support. This will help to deliver the integrated experience that customers need.
Customers want the ability to contact you at any point during the day and night, using the channel they like the most which can be using social media, email, or phone. Your company will be miles ahead of every competitor when you give your customer unlimited customer support, which will show that you truly care more about your customer than any other company.
What is brand consistency and why is it important?
An example of how you can take care of brand consistency is using the same colors in advertisements and the printed papers you give your customers when you send packages or receive customers in your office.
Another way to stay consistent as a brand is to deliver messages to your audience that carry your core values in the same tone-of-voice each time, and showing the same brand elements to make people familiar with your unique style.
CustomerThink identifies these three critical areas where brands must be consistent to drive customer loyalty:
- Customer Experience — Providing a consistent customer experience fosters trust and confidence in your brand.
- Values — Back up your words with actions.
- Brand Identity Elements — These are the visual brand components that make your brand recognizable and help you stand out from the competition.
Best Practices for Brand Consistency
How do the world’s most recognizable brands establish and maintain brand consistency no matter how much the market changes? I know it takes time, but by following the below practices, you will surely be on the right path.
Be careful when rebranding
It might seem something easy and delightful to rebrand your business, but in all reality-it can quickly go wrong since consistency has a massive impact. If you already have a reputation with established brand images and colors, then rebranding might not be a good idea since the consistency will be gone.
But if your branding is not completely finished and your reputation is not strong, then you can change your branding, but do it only when you are sure that it’s an improvement. So do research before you even think about rebranding.
If It’s Boring, You’re Doing It Right
When you feel bored every time you take a look at your images, the colours you use, and the other visual elements, you are doing it right.
You see your own brand every day, som for sure it’s going to be boring for you as well as for your marketers. But the more boring it is for you, the better chance you have of getting recognized by the audience.
Create a Brand Style Guide
A business consists of many different factors, departments, and people, staying consistent is something that becomes more difficult the more the company grows.
To make it easier for everyone that works inside your company, you can create a guide to get everyone working towards the same goals.
This guide should include the mission of the company, the colors used, fonts, brand voice,a style guide for pictures, and other things that might help your employees/teams to stay consistent.
If this article helped you in any way I’m happy :) If you have any other tips or techniques to improve branding, please leave a comment below.
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