Be Consistent

Earlier this week I ordered a pizza. “Pizza Monday” is a little H family tradition and every week we call up our favorite joint. This week, however, instead of the normal bubbly girl on the other end of the line, I found myself talking to a new employee.

He was courteous enough but he certainly didn’t know the ropes.

I ordered my usual and the conversation went a little something like this:

Me: “Hi. I’d like to order a large half pepperoni, half Canadian bacon pizza for pick-up please.”

Pizza Guy: “You want to order a pizza for pick-up?”

Me: “Yes please.”

Pizza Guy: “What size?”

Me: “I’d like a large half pepperoni, half Canadian bacon.”

Pizza Guy: Long pause… “What do you want on it?”

You can see we weren’t off to a great start. The conversation continued with him asking for my credit card number (although I told him I would pay upon pick-up), telling me a price that was $5 less than every other week, and no mention of wanting my name for the order. Later, when we told him the price was lower than usual, he said he must have forgotten our discount and took another dollar off. What?

As a regular customer, I have expectations. Each week, I anticipate the same experience. My mouth waters for the same delicious pizza. I frequent this pizza place not only because I like the pizza but because it is convenient, and usually, consistent. What a different experience I had this week!

I can only speculate that my inconsistent experience was due to poor employee training. As a business owner, you have the power to create a system and train employees to follow it. My pizza tradition is strongly influenced by the employees who take my order, make my pizza, and ring me up. If your employees don’t all do it the same way, your customers will notice. And, as in this situation, you might even be losing money.

In your rental business, you can ensure your customers expectations are met by providing consistent experience. This consistency comes not only from having all of your employees do things the same way. It also is a product of you following the same rules. Even if you’re a one-man-rental-shop, creating a consistent experience for your customers will keep them coming back.

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