Thursday, 19 July 2018

Inconsistency Is the Enemy of Loyalty

I recently wrote on how inconsistency is the enemy of customer loyalty and this week saw an article in the press complaining about exactly this.

What this complaint highlighted was not just that inconsistency had led to the customer writing to the national press, but that there seemed to be a lack of communication in the organisation concerned between “management” and “staff” (or, at the very least, inconsistent application of the message).  It also seemed that the “policy” that led to the original complaint was subsequently changed and the customer concerned had only found out by accident.

A study by Boeing revealed that in any organisation, 80-90% of the factors that contribute to errors are under management control, whereas the remaining 10-20% can be attributed to staff.  Apart from looking remarkably like “Pareto’s Principle”, the message is clear: management has a crucial role to play in ensuring that there is consistency in application of processes, procedures and policies, and that staff receive the training needed to carry them out.      

At times, this means re-writing manuals (so keep them short and simple).  It means regular training and refresher sessions.  It means staff meetings where staff are free to say what’s preventing them from doing their job properly.

The role of leadership has never been so clear – it’s critical to customer loyalty and satisfaction, as well as wider public perception of our business.  How can we meet this challenge in our own organisation?

I have spent more than half my life delivering change in different world markets from the most developed to “emerging” economies. With more than 20 years in international financial services around the world  running different operations and lending businesses, I started my own Consultancy to provide solutions for improving performance, productivity and risk management.  I work with individuals, small businesses, charities, quoted companies and academic institutions across the world. An international speaker, trainer, author and fund-raiser, I can be contacted by email. My websiteprovides a full picture of my portfolio of services.  For strategic questions that you should be asking yourself, follow me at @wkm610.

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