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Posts Tagged ‘starbucks’

Only Through Consistency Can You Avoid Being "Best in Coat"

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Bo: Winner of Best in Coat

All dog owners think they have the greatest dog — but until today, I was convinced that mine was truly “the one”.  At home, Bo (our 5 year old Golden Retriever) is well behaved.  He’s never on the furniture, doesn’t beg from strangers and overall is low-maintenance.  I take Bo to doggy day care (check out www.citybark.com— greatest dog day care ever).  He’s been going there since he was 3 months old.  Recently, City Bark designated certain “dog awards” for the regular attendees.  Needless to say, I thought we had “Best Dog” locked up (due to his general disposition and my lobbying of the title).  Well, the votes came in and Bo was given the title “Best Coat”.  What?!  Is that even a category?  It feels like someone in the Miss America competition winning “Best Smile”.  It’s a made up award and really is saying, “your dog is terrible, but we want you to keep bringing your dog here.”  That’s when it hit me.  My experience with Bo is vastly different than City Bark’s.

Providing a consistent customer experience has to be the number one priority for all businesses, but particularly small businesses that are establishing a brand and customer following.  While a consistent marketing message is important, according a to a recent Business Week article, more importantly is to meet your customers expectations(not necessarily exceeding expectations).  Small businesses that consistently meet customer expectations don’t stay small for long.  Think about Starbucks.  It’s guaranteed that Starbucks doesn’t have the best coffee in every city in which it operates.  But when you’re not a local (or you don’t want to risk it on the local shop), more often than not, you’ll go to Starbucks because they are excellent in meeting a customers expectations on a soy latte.  I’m not suggesting that the goal of every small business is to become a multi-national corporation, but there is a reason why these established brands are successful.  They stress consistency because that is often deemed more important than creativity or a superior product/service.

Please feel to share what your business does to maintain consistency…or if you disagree with the need to emphasize consistency.  Or, if you think “Best in Coat” is a legitimate prize that I can take pride in.

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