Every business would love to answer phones on the first ring, respond to emails in 5 minutes, ship orders the same day, have zero defects or errors and achieve perfection at everything they do. The reality is, very, very few businesses have the resources to achieve that lofty standard.
Most companies then make “compromises” along the way. Generally, there are a few things that they do really well, and a bunch of stuff that is OK or even kind of poor. They expend lots of energy on really being terrific at something, maybe the product, or the order turnaround or something, but tend to not even look at the rest of the business.
Interestingly, when the thing that is terrific is so incongruent with the other areas of the business, or if one other thing is disproportionately poor compared to the rest, the customer will no longer see what the company is terrific at and only focus on the bad stuff.
It’s no secret that a reputation can be crushed online. What can take months, even years to develop through consistent performance can be ruined by one bad situation. Have you ever noticed how much a company suffers online because one situation was not addressed thoughtfully? And it’s never about responding in 5 minutes, it’s about being thoughtful.
There is a saying I learned from T. Harv Eker a long time ago; “How you do anything is how you do everything.”
Set a standard of “acceptable” (good enough) and then do it EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME.
Figure out where your company can afford to be with money or time, where it needs to be competitively and then meet that standard in everything you do. Have you ever gone into an awful bathroom at a restaurant and immediately wondered if the kitchen was clean?
It is far, far more valuable to be consistent at everything than to be incredible at a couple of things. Sustainability for your business is measured by the systems and practices you embed in the business, not the one star thing you might be most proud of. Your reputation depends on your consistency. Consistency is where your business teaches your customer how to set their expectation in the first place!
Whatever “good enough” is for your company, do it everywhere. You set customer expectations through your entire business, not just the few things you do well.