In an article entitled “Why small details matter for small firms,” BBC reporter Katie Hope analyzes the value of standardization in the service sector. For International Hotel Group, the value of a standardized service is twofold. Firstly, in an enterprise of 678,000 rooms, minute differences in service can have huge costs. A difference of 3 minutes in the Hotel business can cost untold sums. Furthermore, this difference can cost customer loyalty. In the business of international travel accommodations, wealthy patrons pay considerable attention to the quality of service provided. If a service firm does not provide a standardized quality of service, it may see customers lost to superior quality elsewhere.
This emphasis on a uniform quality of service is pervasive throughout the service sector, and especially among large corporations. Consultants for Oliver Wyman found that between ¼ and 1/3 of variation in shop sales resulted from a difference in the quality of experience. Consistency in the firm helped increase profits and drastically reduce employee turnover; both of these are useful in maintaining a profitable and stable business.
Another major firm to follow this strategy is Starbucks. Despite operating in over sixty countries worldwide, Starbucks sets a standard of values and a unique company culture across the board. Management places such strong emphasis on these values that Starbucks employees must be taught them before entering the workplace. For a company that aspires to be a “third place” other than home or work, a consistent quality of experience is important.