Consistent Service Standards

For Sterling Development there are three Cs of customer satisfaction: consistency, consistency, consistency. It may not seem sexy, but consistency is one secret ingredient to making customers happy. It's exceptionally powerful, especially at a time when channels to market are proliferating and consumer choice and empowerment are increasing. 

Getting consistency right requires the attention of top leadership. That’s because by using a variety of channels and triggering more and more interactions with companies as they seek to meet their needs, customers create clusters of interactions (the customer journey) that make their individual interactions less important than their cumulative experience.


This customer journey can span all elements of a company and include everything from buying a product to actually using it, having issues with a product that require resolution or simply making the decision to use a service or product for the first time.


It’s not enough to make customers happy with each individual interaction. Our most recent customer-experience research found that effective customer journeys are very important. Measuring satisfaction on customer journeys is 30% more predictive of overall customer satisfaction than measuring happiness for each individual interaction. Maximising satisfaction with customer journeys has the potential not only to increase customer satisfaction by 20% but also to lift revenue by up to 15% while lowering the cost of serving customers by as much as 20%.

Customer-journey consistency

It’s well understood that if your company doesn't provide customers with superior service they will most probably go elsewhere. To deliver this superior service each area of your business must have clear policies, rules, and supporting mechanisms to ensure consistency during each customer interaction. Simple maths illustrates why this is so important in a world of increasingly multichannel, multitouch customer journeys.


Assume a customer interacts six times with a pay TV company, starting when s/he undertakes online research into providers and ending when the first bill is received 30 days after service is installed. Assuming a 95% satisfaction rate for each individual interaction - whether measuring responsiveness, the accuracy of information, or other factors - even this level of performance means that up to one in four customers will have a poor experience during the on-boarding journey.

The fact is that consistency on the most common customer journeys is an important predictor of overall customer experience and loyalty. Banks, for example, saw an exceptionally strong correlation between consistency on key customer journeys and overall performance in customer experience. 

Emotional consistency

Positive customer-experience emotions - encompassed in a feeling of trust - are the biggest drivers of satisfaction and loyalty in all industry surveys. Consistency is particularly important to forge a relationship of trust with customers. For bank customers, “a brand I feel close to” and “a brand that I can trust” were the top drivers for bank differentiation on customer experience. In a world where research suggests that fewer than 30% of customers trust most major financial brands, ensuring consistency on customer journeys to build trust is important for long-term growth.

Communication Consistency

A company’s brand is driven by more than the combination of promises made and promises kept. What’s also critical is ensuring customers recognise the delivery of those promises, which requires proactively shaping communications and key messages that consistently highlight delivery as well as themes.

Becoming a company that delivers customer-journey excellence requires many things to be done well. But at  Sterling Development we’ve found that there are three priorities.

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+44 (0)20 7193 2178
Sterling Development International Limited 
1 Kellet House
Tankerton Street
London WC1H 8HW 

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