Have you ever walked up to a door and grasped the doorknob expecting that familiar turn, click, and open, only to be startled when it did not operate as you expected? Recently a visitor to a hotel described how a closet in his room had a doorknob that looked like it should turn, but did not. Instead the knob was simply screwed in and the door held shut by a magnet. He described how that bothered him and that he never got used to it. Every time he went to use that door it bothered him. Its behavior was unpredictable, both in its lack of intuitiveness and its inconsistency with every other “door experience” he’d ever had.
Many customers are not satisfied with their service providers or with the products that they use because of a lack of predictability.
Many organizations large and small lose business as they fail to deliver a predictable experience to their customers. Common examples include inconsistent levels of knowledge among staff, unintuitive products, and poor management of customer expectations. Predictability is underrated.