I’ve been a regular customer at a particular café for the past few years. In fact I think I would on average spend $30 a week with them. It’s convenient, (around the corner from yoga) and always consistent with regards to quality of coffee, the friendly staff and the speed of service.

Something has changed recently. I no longer see the same faces each day, and my coffee has been hit and miss. I’ve thought twice about going and have started sharing my $30 a week on coffee across various cafes in the area. I have realised it all comes down to one reason – Inconsistency.

Two years ago at the Australian Open we created an internal customer service mantra that intended on addressing the inconsistency issue. All 9,000 staff were trained to apply a customer service mantra to their tournament roles; ‘Ace it first time every time’. The mantra was trained to reinforce to staff that they cannot afford to get it wrong once or twice, and that we must aspire to deliver world class service consistently everytime. Tough gig for an event that sees just shy of a one million people come through the gates over a 14 day period, where staff are working on average 12 to 14 hour days, but it was a common language and focus that we all understood.

To help get our heads around this notion of consistency and how we train consistency in our cultures, I want to offer up another way of looking at this challenge.

Let’s replace the word consistency with habit? A habit being a regular practice and one that is hard to give up!

According to the experts it takes 66 days to wire a new habit. I recently watched a video by Robin Sharma and he talks about the habit installation model. He suggests the most common response we have when attempting to wire in a new routine, habit or ritual is experienced in three distinct stages.

First 20 days; Destruction – this is where you start to recode your emotional architecture, let go of old beliefs and old habits, an old part of you is dying.

The next 20 days; Confusion – it’s always messy in the middle when we go through change. This is the chaotic part of re – coding. This is where expansion and growth lives.

The last 20 days or so Integration – new habits are now starting to feel easier and the new neural pathway of the habit is being formed, literally in our brains..

Could you focus on creating systems for your staff that over time (approximately 66 days) allows them to form new habits? How might this impact your value proposition to the customers which is consistent each and every time?

Jaquie Scammell

“Why serve when you can Inspire”