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Consistency the key to strong relationships

July 8, 2010
Image of a Bollard at Walton Lock on the Manchester Ship Canal

What was deluxe becomes debris - the sad remnants of a booming time on the Manchester Ship Canal

Whether it’s work, friendships, marriage or consumer relationships, consistency is the key to engendering loyalty.

Imagine, for example, working for someone who changed their mind every 5 minutes, lost their temper frequently, smiled one minute and glowered the next. Trying each day to predict whether they would be nice or horrible to you would drive you nuts, wouldn’t it? You’d either have a nervous breakdown or leave. Or both!

It is not in human nature to remain tolerant for long periods of time if there is an easier solution. Whether it’s the unpredictable boss, the disloyal friend, or the unreliable product – people move on. And rapidly.

British industry is littered with the results of its contemptuous position towards its customers and its singular expectancy that government bail-outs will come to the rescue. BSA Motorcycles – once the world’s largest motorcycle maker – now a subcontractor engineering company with no interests in motorcycles at all. Or MG cars – now reduced to assembling Chinese supplied car kits in a corner of the former Austin factory in Birmingham. Or even the Manchester Ship Canal – an aqueous epitaph to the folly of resisting the inevitable.

Why buy motorcycles that leaked oil and vibrated to bits when you could buy a machine that would go on for years, smoothly and reliably? Why buy an ugly mid-engined obsolete sports car when you can buy a Japanese sports car like the Mazda MX5 – much more in tune with the British sports car ethos? Why ship your goods to an inland port in the north of England when you can containerise vast quantities of goods and handle them speedily through Felixtowe?

Time and tide wait for no man – or woman. In the hard-headed world of global competitive business, consistency is crucial. But consistency that delivers the expected and predicts the future.

Rolls-Royce, one the world’s leading aero engine makers, shows the way forward for industry. As well as making some truly revolutionary engines, they provide a service which enables them to track engine performance on any engine in service at any time, anywhere around the world.

In providing excellent products designed to perform in huge extremes of temperature, Rolls Royce have a reputation for consistent delivery. In monitoring their products and providing customer support, they also have a reputation for consistent customer service. Which means that it is hardly surprising that they continue to generate huge orders at air shows around the world.

How do you deliver your goods? How do you deliver your service? Do you offer a consistency of solution which satisfies new customers and delivers repeat business from existing ones? Do you have mechanisms in place to understand trends in your market?

Consistency of delivery is key to success. Now, in cash-strapped times, it is more important than ever to eradicate inconsistency in service provision if companies are to maintain their order books. As Rolls-Royce will tell you, such a solution is not cheap, it is not easy. But it does work.

(Image – from a great retro site about Warrington (A Brand Day Out’s home town): My Warrington)

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