Consistency is firmness of constitution or character. Customers value consistency, even at the expense of higher value. They want to be sure about what they are receiving; they don't like negative surprises. When you deliver consistent value, you increase the perceived value of your product or service.
Make decisions consistent with your goals and values. People tend to encounter difficulty when they make decisions inconsistent with their goals or values—those things that are really important to them, their company, their customers, or their loved ones. How we make important decisions can be as important as the decisions themselves. Every decision brings consequences. With important decisions, the consequences can be far-reaching.
Produce results consistently. Customers come to have certain expectations. When those expectations aren't met, they are disappointed, especially if their expectations are higher of you than they are of others. The adage "Underpromise and overdeliver" is the key. Have just a little something extra in reserve so that you don't exceed expectations one time and not meet them the next time. Build in a cushion, especially when it comes to cost and schedules.
Behave consistently. People judge us based on our behaviors, not our intentions. Inconsistent or unpredictable behaviors make it difficult for other people to know how to best work with us, or, more important, whether they can even trust us. It makes it difficult for people to plan.
Trust is rooted in the assurance that someone will do something they say they will do. It is a driving force in relationships, especially ones involving customers. Their reputations, and sometimes their jobs, are at stake. While trust isn't easily measured, you can be sure it underlies our motives and our responses.
What are the attributes of a sales relationship with high trust levels? Good communication, innovative thinking, and a lack of hidden agendas. Customers who trust salespeople provide good information, take the advice of salespeople, and give them the opportunity to keep their business.
Surveys have shown that when people travel, what they value most in a hotel is consistency. Whether it is a luxury or economy brand, they want the accommodations and services to be the same every time they return. People who go to their favorite fast-food restaurant want the same level of service no matter which location they visit. The same is true for most of us with the products or services we purchase. We value consistency. So do, of course, our customers.
Make sure you reinforce the value you provide to your existing customers, especially when budgets tighten up. The customer may not recognize the value that may be apparent to you. If you take it for granted that the customer understands everything that you do to deliver value and you are mistaken, the customer may make decisions that will be difficult for you to reverse once they are made. It is better to be proactive by understanding what your customers' value perceptions are and communicating with them early in the process about that value.