One of the great things about chain restaurants like T.G.I. Friday’s, The Olive Garden, or Burger King – and it’s not their food – is consistency. You can walk into a T.G.I. Friday’s in New York City or Omaha, Neb., and you know what you are going to get. There is no deviation – the look is the same, the food is the same, and the prices are relatively the same. You never have to worry about getting sick or what the bathroom will look like. Again, I am not saying the food is fabulous or the places are immaculate – the point is, you know what you are going to get. And often, that in itself is comforting.
Think about your business for a minute. Do your corporate communications show consistency? Do you use the same logo on your letterhead, in an email newsletter, and in a print ad? Do your salespeople all communicate in the same manner? How about your customer service reps? Do they have a similar personality to one another? Do they provide similar results call after call?
Consistency and confidence in the areas mentioned above will keep your customers around for a long time to come. Just the way you are more comfortable with the golden arches than the local burger joint in a new city, your customers are comfortable with what’s familiar and consistent. They know what to expect and that is priceless.
It sounds easy, but consistency can be very challenging. But, if you can be consistent in the way you operate, you will keep your competitors at bay.