This morning I am flying to Canberra to meet a few clients and as so many times before, I had to go through the airport security. And you know what happened?? For the first time ever, my bag was taken from the security belt and had to be searched…. reason: an umbrella!!
Not an issue, I hear you think – this is just another security measure, one of many as this has become a normal part of airtravel. Well, but what about the fact that this umbrella has been in my bag for the last 12 months (at least!) and I have been flying with this bag/umbrella combination at least 10 times now. (last time was last week)
The security guy told me that there had been an issue a few months ago when somebody put a knife in an umrella and this wasn’t picked up and since this incident, the security measures were upgraded to the extend that ALL umbrellas now have to be checked.
That is fine, but why didn’t this happen at the other 9 occasions where I flew with my umbrella in my bag? Why today, and not last week?! I find it very hard to take all these security measures seriously, especially as they are not performed consistently.
So what can I learn from this? How can I use this experience to improve my business? Well, the most important thing that we are working on is building a personal relationship with our clients. People buy from people they trust… and you can’t trust a person who is inconsistent. I can’t expect clients to buy from us when we change the rules all the time. So the secret to success is consistency.
Consistency without being rigid, as our customer service ethos is very high! There is a LOT we do for our clients, to help them with their business, to improve the way we contact our clients and the experience we give them.
So where would consistency be important:
- Invoicing terms (when do we expect payment, and when do we start chasing?)
- Inclusions in the courses (do students receive a certificate of attendance or not?)
- Living up to our promises (we have a pass guarantee for our classroom Foundation course)
- Processes and procedures (I always try to send an email within 12 hours after meeting a person to confirm the action items from the meeting)