Consistency in service is key to success
I recently participated in an out-of-town golf outing. There was a hotel near the golf course that was part of a well-known hotel chain that I know to be reasonably priced with attractive and clean rooms. Many of the hotels within the chain are run by independent operators, as was this one. The exterior of the hotel was consistent with that of others in the chain. But, to my chagrin, that was where the similarity ended.
The room they assigned to me had worn furniture. The air conditioner sounded like a train coming through the walls; it had rust spots and was dusty. The bathroom tile had been patched and was not squeaky clean. The walls above the beds had holes for pictures, but no pictures. It was too late to move to another hotel, so I spent the night. The next morning, I arose and was looking forward to my complimentary continental breakfast, but it was not ready. All I wanted was coffee, juice and a roll. How difficult could that be? A rude server told me that breakfast might be ready in an hour or so.
Either this hotel was in violation of the chain’s standards, or there was no corporate oversight or basic rules for the operator to follow. One of the main things a hotel chain has to sell is its consistency. The name or brand depends upon it. It was baffling to me why the corporation allowed this operator to undermine or blemish its name, especially when it had spent millions or billions of dollars to promote the name as being equivalent with cleanliness, efficiency, friendliness and moderate price. This made me think about how important consistency is to a business, especially to a service business like Tower Force.
When a company is running many projects all over the country with several different project managers, it is a difficult job to maintain consistency of quality and safety at each project. The typical project manager is a master of control. Project managers do not like to be told what to do and can create “little fiefdoms” if there is not some sort of corporate oversight or cohesiveness. When these “little fiefdoms” are allowed to flourish, it can hurt your overall business. One project manager may be busy and not available to service a repeat client, so the company has to assign the job to another project manager. If the service is good, bad or even just different, the client can be disappointed, which reflects badly on the company as a whole.
Fixing the “fiefdom”
At our company, we strive to let our project managers have as much control as possible, while also following the guidelines for quality, safety and project controls we have created during our 30-plus years of existence. Our project managers have an interest in the entire company’s success, not just in the success of the projects they run. Our incentives are set up that way. We also involve our corporate managers in each project. This does two things: First, it presents a consistent face to the customer. Second, it ensures consistency in project execution that is consistent with our standards of quality and safety.
Constant communication is key
Our company routinely uses various forms of communication with our employees and management. Weekly staff meetings, emails, social media posts and even old-fashioned phone calls are all used. The message and vision need to be consistent in every form of communication.
It is important the corporate message be consistent at all levels, including in-house communications as well as those with customers and suppliers. As companies grow, as ours has grown, consistency becomes even more important. New employees must be aware of our core values so their actions and business decisions are also consistent with our core values. All communication, including business papers, signage and advertising, should also be consistent in format, typestyle, color, etc.
Consistent service is key to a company’s longevity, and a consistent image helps reflect the fact the left-hand knows what the right is doing.
For more information, contact Whitney Strickland at (281) 506-7152 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also published in BIC Magazine.
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