When we say, “I’ll get that to you by Friday” what do we do. Was that a commitment, an aspiration, or just a way to defer scrutiny? Someone else can’t tell, at least, not until Friday. When this is the 20th time we’ve made such a statement to the same person, they know. Consistency creates a level of trust (or damages it).
We all know people who “commit” to doing things and never actually do them, and we are all aware of others for whom their word is their bond. Both exhibit consistency and it is possible to do valuable work with both. (Although I recognise that one is easier to rely on!).
Our response changes.
When we engage a business that we know delivers consistently late compared to their commitments, we can agree earlier deadlines, or follow up sooner.
That is harder work than with the business that always delivers on time, but the extra effort can be worth it if the value is high enough. Regardless of value, though, a company that is inconsistent is complicated, it cannot easily be trusted. We may well conclude not to engage them for anything critical.
Consistency does more than build trust, it creates loyalty, and loyalty drives repeat business referrals and advocacy. That creates an opportunity dramatically to increase the long-term (lifetime) value of each of our customers, and to grow. It is the difference between a company that has significant intrinsic value and one whose value can dissipate quickly. Which do you want to be? What does that mean you need to change?