Quality assurance for the benefit of your customers? Yes, it’s true it can be done and not remain the folk lore that some, more cynical among us, may think.
Whenever an organization begins to consider quality from a customer point of view, a whole new world of opportunity and customer satisfaction can open up. But don’t get too confident, just yet. Just to be annoying, those potential revelations can also shine a spotlight toward the proverbial can of worms.
So, how can quality processes and systems affect your business? Consider a few key areas to bring the cream to the top.
1. Commit To It
Having the right attitude really is a great foundation to start. No one likes change for the sake of it, and many don’t like it at all, but it is the recognition that change must happen, that assists your organization to flourish.
Everyone needs to be on board emotionally and mentally to implant, and continuously evaluate quality processes, either new or newly implemented.
2. Track Mistakes
Whether through inconsistent communication or simply error in processes, mistakes are a reality in today’s business world.
They key is to be able to identify errors before they become a larger problem. When they happen, how they happen, and the ability to correct them speedily and seamlessly is essential for less customer aggravation.
Mistakes affect your customers without a doubt. Wrong delivery addresses, incorrect labeling or suppliers who simply do not have the same regard for your customers as you do, will have your complaints department running on empty.
3. Identifying Faults
Enter, stage right, the best solution to identify errors before they become a larger problem.
A reliable process for capturing errors in product or service quality concerns, and their initial identification, is essential in any organizations wider view of quality management.
As examples, it could be simpler, cleaner designs that reduce the occurrence of faults in a product, or for a service driven industry, simply the introduction of a more functional, and user-friendly telephone service.
Good enough is no longer good enough, in your customer’s eyes.
4. Target Behaviors
Quality assurance is a noble goal whether perceived as one or not. In a way, this feeds back to commitment, but even more so, the behaviors of management and day-to-day staff can seriously affect your customer’s decision to stay with you, or turn to your competition.
Attitude is King
Having said that, it’s really important not to focus on flaws, but rather to have the mindset of an organization committed to its people and its customers for the betterment of all.
5. Monitors are Mirrors
Let’s be clear on this one. Quality monitoring is not finger pointing. Instead, replace it with performance management, training, and high-level communication, focused on offering the best outcome for customers.
Try something different. Engage your team and they may come up with ways to monitor quality themselves.
Understanding quality’s importance will become second nature to people who are involved and connected.
The flow on effect to your customers is tangible.
6. Build Customer Feedback In
This can be a scary thing for many organizations.
Imagine, volunteering a way for people to tell you what they think. That’s crazy, right?
Not so crazy. How else are you going to know what the opinion of your business is out there?
Your staff may be likely to see that fevered look in your eye, and run for the nearest fire escape, if you ask them.
Take a deep breath and introduce a process for customers to have their say. It may be enlightening.
7. You and Your Systems
Have you had a look at the way you manage your QA, lately?
Do you even have the right processes in place to benefit your organization in its direction on this issue?
An organization’s use of software solutions with advanced analytics can take it not only into a headache free compliance but also into the brave new world of customer service excellence.
If an organization is serious in its efforts to giving quality assurance the attention it needs, the first step seems to be to employ a set of processes and monitoring enablers.
Whether you are a manufacturer, distributor or simply provide a service, the need to put your quality assurance under the microscope is not to dictate perfection or unrealistic expectations, but instead to improve.
Improvement for your customers is the ultimate goal. Without your customers, you have no business.
Image: Elizabeth Hahn