The saga of a sorry Greek Salad...

Article by Dee Blick

The Marketing Gym

Last week I stayed at a hotel and being famished on arrival, ordered a Greek salad. It was so delicious, bursting with an array of fresh ingredients that I ordered another one the next night.

This was not so delicious.

There were several ingredients missing including spinach, cucumber, roasted peppers, black olives, even dressing I jest you not! I sent it back, asking for an explanation from the chef.

His response? “I forgot what I put in your salad last night.”

But what does this have to do with you as a potential franchisee or indeed you as an existing franchisor?

Consistency is at the heart of building your brand. It’s at the heart of any successful and sustainable franchise. Walk into virtually any McDonald’s in the world and regional menu variations aside, you know what you’re going to get, how it will be presented, what it will taste like.

There are reasons why we like to meet friends at our favourite coffee bar. We feel comforted and secure in the knowledge that by repeating our actions, we’re going to enjoy the same experience every time. We like our loyalty to be rewarded with good feelings and great experiences. Businesses that become successful brands understand the importance of delivering a consistent and positive customer experience. They make it their mission to ensure that each customer has an enjoyable experience regardless of when, how or where they come into contact with the company brand.

Today savvy customers want it all – value, first-class service and a consistently great experience.

How you can build consistency into your business

Identify the interactions a customer has with your business at each stage of their relationship with you. These are your customer touch points. How does your business perform at each one? Many businesses focus on delivering positive experiences in two key areas - recruiting new customers and delivery. Other areas, such as after-care, building the relationship post sale can be neglected. Inconsistencies creep in and sabotage what has been a positive experience so far.

Group your touch points into the following categories:

  • The prospecting stage
  • The sign up stage
  • The delivery stage
  • The immediate post-delivery stage
  • Ongoing relationship building

Now identify within each category how many times a customer interacts with your business. Can you see any inconsistencies in the quality of the service they are receiving? When you’re busy does customer care go to the wall?

Customers will become disenchanted if they can’t be sure what to expect from you each time and you’ll experience fluctuating degrees of success with new prospects if you’re quick to respond on some occasions, impossible to get hold of at other times.

You can’t afford to take customers for granted so nurture your relationship with them from cradle to sale and beyond!

About Dee Blick

Dee Blick is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing with 30 years marketing experience and author of the newly published book: The 15 Essential Marketing Masterclasses for Your Small Business. Rated ‘an excellent book’ by CityAM newspaper and ‘ticks all the boxes’ by Elite Business Magazine it has also won the BookBag non-fiction look of the month award.

Stop Press
Dee is the keynote speaker at the BFA Women Working Well Day on Tuesday 12 November where she will be sharing her expertise on Direct Mail and PR.

Last Updated: 17-November-2015