We are human beings with most of us hating change- or at the very least being uncomfortable with it.
Philosophically, as humans, we know that change is good for several reasons:
- It keeps us on our toes
- It forces us to be creative and resourceful and
- It inspires us
As business leaders, we know that change is good for all the above reasons plus it does a few more things for us:
- It helps to keep us ahead of the competition
- It can aid us in the quest for efficiency and effectiveness and
- It can prove to our customers that we are listening to them, especially if they are the ones requesting that we change
But the truth is…most of us, as customers, just don’t like it. If we have to deal with it, many of us prefer to do so on our own terms and according to our own time schedules. This is exactly why, as businesses, we should strive to be as consistent as we can when it comes to dealing with our customers.
Think about the recent public relations nightmare experienced by the Apple organization. Those who use Apple products are used to a consistent level of quality, operating, ease, and consistent, orderly customer service. When the new version of Apple’s iPhone arrived on the market, it had some inherent problems with reception due to the antenna placement. Cell phone owners were experiencing dropped calls leading to dissatisfaction with the product. When customers turned to the company for customer support, their complaints initially fell on deaf ears. This wasn’t something Apple customers were used to. Even Steve Jobs, the head of the Apple empire seemed to be sidestepping the issue. Not only did consumers experience issues with product consistency, they were also faced with a change in the way their complaints were being handled leading to negative press about the new product and the company.
The take-away for us as CEOs, managers, and supervisors is that consistency is king when it comes to satisfying our customers. Everything from our products and services to the way we handle even the smallest of customer complaints is critical for customer satisfaction.
As a consumer, how do you feel about change?
As a business leader, what do you do to ensure consistency throughout your organization?