Being able to offer the same service to the same standards time and time again is the key to long term success. Consistency helps you to build a clear brand identity, as well as helping you to attract loyal customers. Fail to be consistent and you may lose the trust of customers who may feel that they cannot rely on you to meet their needs.
There are lots of ways in which you can encourage consistency. Here are just several methods worth trying.
Develop routines and procedures
The best way to encourage consistency is to develop routines and procedures that you can follow. These should be based off of successes you have had and should be separated into steps that can be memorised. A couple examples could include a telesales company creating a script based off of a winning sales call or a chef fine-tuning a recipe for a dish that customers enjoyed.
Make use of machinery and software
Machinery and software could help you to replicate products and processes to the exact same measurements each time. This could provide a consistent accuracy beyond what a human can realistically provide. For example, A ketchup manufacturer may use a pouring machine to ensure that the same amount of ketchup is put in each bottle. A billing company meanwhile may use a program like Templafy to ensure that all bills follow a specific template. On top of ensuring consistent quality, machinery and software could help to dramatically speed up such tasks.
Conduct manual quality checks
Sometimes human beings forget steps in routines and procedures. Equally machinery and software can occasionally stall or glitch. This could result in inconsistencies occurring. Having regular manual quality checks in place could help to further maintain consistency by spotting errors. This could include having someone there to occasionally weigh bottles of ketchup or proofread printed bills.
Thoroughly train employees
If employees aren’t trained well in how to follow procedures, how to use machinery/software or how to do quality checks, they won’t be able to provide the consistency that you need. Take the time to thoroughly train employees by showing them how to do procedures and by monitoring them as they repeat these procedures back on their own. Once you’re confident employees can carry out procedures on their own, you can stop monitoring them.
Provide handbooks for procedures
Handbooks can be a useful supplement for training. If an employee forgets how to do a procedure, a handbook could provide a useful reference that could prevent them having to ask someone else. Handbooks can take many forms – publications may use style guides to help writers keep to a certain style, while a restaurant kitchen may provide recipes for certain dishes hung up on walls. It’s even possible to create handbooks in the form of apps.