By Ann K. Monteith, CPP, M.Photog.Cr., ABI, API Establishing Your…
Intro by Skip Cohen
Bev Walden regularly shares outstanding content in her Tuesday Tidbits email and again with her husband Tim, at Walden Coaching. If you’re looking for help to build a stronger presence as an imaging artist and business owner, it doesn’t get any better than time with these two!
This recent article from Bev hit on the importance of consistency. In sharing it here, I wanted to put her last point first…
“It costs FIVE TIMES more to acquire new customers than it does to keep current ones, so let’s concentrate on keeping the ones we have before we put more effort into acquiring new ones!
Consistency is a major key in keeping your clients!”
Think about that for just a second – Bev is talking about the importance of the customer experience, but I want to take it a step further – consistency applies to EVERY aspect of your business. In customer service, you’ve got to be consistent. In blogging, if you’re not posting at least twice a week on the same day and time, then give it up! In advertising and promotion, once you lose the momentum of being a regular presence, it’s twice as hard to regain control.
Years ago, back in my Polaroid days, we were told you have to hit a customer 2 ½ times for them to remember who you were. Today, based on which expert you believe most, the range is 10-20 times to get through all the noise in most consumer’s lives.
So, whether it’s consistency in the customer experience that Bev is hitting hard or all the other aspects of your business, once you set the standard, you’ve got to maintain it! Just like the quality of your images and the products/services you deliver!
By Beverly Walden
Let’s talk about consistency as it pertains to a client’s experience at your studio. This is so important to understand as it is what keeps clients coming back for your services again and again.
Think about your own experience with a favorite restaurant if they don’t bring the rolls out hot and covered in melted butter like they have done every time in the past. How do you feel about it? Are you disappointed?
That is what I am talking about here; consistency is very important to our clients. How do we greet them? How many times does the phone ring before we answer? Do we offer them a refreshment one time and then forget to the next?
How do you think it makes them feel when every experience with you is wildly inconsistent?
As for myself, I find comfort in being treated the same way each time I go into a business. If something changes, I feel disappointed in that business, but I will let it go once…maybe twice. If my experience continues to be erratic with a business, I will leave and probably not tell them. How scary is that? How many people have left our businesses because we disappointed them by not being consistent with their experience? How many people have left and not let us know, but just quietly slipped away?
This is a wake-up call to look at your business from the client’s point of view.
It is critical to build a system to ensure consistency as it relates to clients. The system then runs the business and we (or the staff) simply run the system. If systems are not in place concerning every part of your client’s experience, discretionary decisions may be made based on things such as convenience, taste or a client’s request that may not be acceptable and does not promote long-term consistency or keep your brand intact.
This type of “off the cuff” decision may cause a fracture in a client’s consistent experience with your business. It may also cause a problem down the road if you make an exception for one client, but not another, and they know each other!
Don’t allow spur of the moment decisions to wreak havoc on a consistent experience in your business. We have found our clients crave consistency as they find comfort in the “known.” You are the owner with the vision for the future, create a plan that creates the system and then lean on the system to run the business!
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