I recently found a great little store that provided me amazing, thorough, and knowledgeable service. I was so excited about the service I received from this store I told a friend about it, and even offered to go with her to the store to help her. Unfortunately, when i go there with her, there was a different sales clerk – who did not give the same degree of service I received before. Which is not to say her service was bad, it was just not blow-your-mind amazing.
And there’s the problem for this store. One the one hand, one sales clerk provides the most amazing service I could have asked for. The other provided good service. I felt foolish for having raved about the incredible service I received the first time when my friend only received good service. But imagine how different that would have been had I not accompanied her to the store that day to be able to at least say – “I’m sorry, that’s not the same level of service I received.” That’s usually what happens though, we refer a friend to a place of business and don’t go with them. So we have no way of knowing whether the service will be same or different. The lesson here for a brand is that consistency is king. If you’re going to have one person who provides amazing-over-the-top service, the rest of your staff will need to as well. OR that one person is going to have to make their service a personal brand for your business. I’ll bet you can guess that I’m now a little hesitant to refer friends to that store again based on service – since wasn’t consistent.
There was a different business in the town I grew up in, that had one person who provided the most amazing service. He was a force to be reckoned with, and there was no way that the rest of the associates could keep up with his level of service. What happened was that he gained a following – people would say go see Buddy at company X – he’ll help you. But it was Buddy, not company x that was building all the goodwill. And while I’m sure that the company was proud of Buddy, and appreciated the service he provided and the following he gained, they also suffered because they were not getting the attention – Buddy was. And without Buddy, they could not give the level of service their customers expected from Buddy.
Now if you happened to not frequent company X often, and you just happened to meet Buddy for the first time, you might rave to your friends about the service that company X provides. And you might even refer your friends to company X for the service the provide. But imagine how disappointed your friends will be when Buddy has the day off and the associate they encounter is merely mortal and having a bad day.
Providing a consistent experience for your customers is more important than an isolated individual providing amazing service. If you’ve got a Buddy on your team, everyone else is going to have to step up their game – or Buddy might need to tone it down a touch. Creating a consistent experience trumps the phenomenal highs and the inevitable lows. Consistency will give you more word of mouth and create a stronger brand.