Consistency Is The Key

One of the reasons your valued and loyal customers leave your business and go elsewhere is because the product that they have come to expect has been diluted or altered away from “the usual” product that they have become accustomed to.

If your business thinks that it can cut corners and short change its customers and “hope” that the regular customers do not notice, well let me tell you this….. you have a sudden and rude awakening coming.

And yes, all businesses can and will drop the ball with its regular loyal customers on occasions…. but it is the true “small businesses” that recover, and pick up the ball quickly, and make amends unconditionally, that survive in this very, VERY,  competitive market place.

Big businesses are like big ocean liners. They take an eon to change direction and let alone, turn themselves around when changes need to be made.

You all know the story about the restaurant that Jayne and I visit regularly for our special celebratory lunches. And how the service, the food, and the experience there are always totally exemplary. But, on one occasion, the service was a little askew…. And when we brought this to the attention of the head waiter, he had no hesitation in “making it up to us” in a manner that was well and truly ABOVE AND BEYOND our expectation in every sense of the words….

Which brings me to today….

I’m flying to the USA today.

And as you know, I like to purchase a Business Class Seat, and where possible, upgrade that seat to into the First-Class cabin using my Frequent Flyer Points. And most times this process works well for me….

And today was no exception.

So one of the benefits of travelling First Class is the curb side assistance that Qantas offers for travelers with their luggage.

And although I was travelling solo, I thought I would avail myself of this service because I had a set of golf clubs with me as well as my suitcase and carry -on, and all that can sometimes be awkward to maneuver through a busy airport terminal.

Well, the protocol for availing yourself of the curb side assistance is to phone ahead prior to your arrival at the terminal to ensure the curb side assistance can do exactly that…assist you. And I did.

But the phone call rang out….

And although it was only a short fifty metre walk, and although I’d maneuvered this amount of luggage through airports elsewhere around the world…and for greater distances, I just felt as though I had been short changed by my airline….

And when I arrived at the check in there was no mention of the assistance, although there was an assistant there at the check in….

Which seemed quite odd?

Was there anything else David?

Well, come to mention it, there was….

And I know this is a First World Problem….

When my upgrade was confirmed I was allocated seat #1A.

Which was very nice, as the A Row is the premium row in the First-Class Cabin.

And when the airline called me the day before to offer me some of the extra First-Class travel comforts, my seat allocation was again re-confirmed.

So after checking in, and as I proceeded through Customs, I glanced at my boarding pass and noticed that my seat had been changed to #1K.

Yet I had not been told why?

So when I arrived at the lounge, I asked at the counter as to what had happened… because on a previous occasion this  unannounced seat re-allocation had happened to me before and I had been gazumped out of a good seat for no logical reason.

Anyway, on this occasion after some research by the counter staff, I was informed that there had been a mechanical issue with seat #1A on my aircraft, and it had been de-commissioned  for the flight.

My thoughts were that it would have been much nicer to have received this information at the check in than to receive it by translation at the lounge….

And like I said, it is a First World Problem.

But, and I make it a big BUT…… if you are going to make changes in your business that impact poorly on the product that your regular customers are expecting…. then you had better adjust and adjust quickly.

Otherwise you may find and discover, that your regular customers and patients start going elsewhere.

Now although this was not a life and death issue by any stretch of the imagination, and although the ground staff member checking me in may not have been made aware of the seat re-allocation, the simple fact is that somewhere ion the system there needs to be checks and balances put into place to make the SERVICE RECOVERY processes seamless when a SERVICE DEFECT arises.

My radar is always up when it comes to cost-cutting measures being taken by seemingly “successful” and profitable enterprises.

Because it either means that they are being mean, for profit’s sake, or they are cutting corners because they are starting to do things tough.

Which could be a whole different story.

And a sad story.

Remember, your loyal customers will happily pay your price so long as they feel that they are receiving excellent service and value.

And these same loyal customers will notice, when that service and value begins to be compromised….


Linda Miles is coming to Australia in August.

Don’t miss this once in a life-time opportunity to see and hear Linda speak first hand…

Book your tickets HERE.


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