In the days of digital everything, the perceived value of good old-fashioned Quality has taken a nosedive. And we have settled into a world where some entrepreneurs see Quality as a means of restraining, even throttling creativity.
So, Quality is dead? No, long live Quality. Because:
Quality is the attributes of our product or service that dictate how well we satisfy our customers.
Each and every one of us wants the products and services we buy to be right first time – a blast from the past. This hasn’t and will never change. You may have heard that a customer who has experienced a failure followed by a great fix may end up even happier than someone who had no problem*. But, I never feel that way – do you?
But surely, good quality is expensive? Admittedly, achieving good quality does take more time up front. But good quality is about good enough. Think of the old question – which is the better quality car a mini or a Rolls-Royce. If you say anything other than they are the same you are falling into the trap of conflating luxury with quality. If you stick to delivering what the customer needs, consistently, then good quality can come with a mini price tag:
- Internal quality is better. Whether you avoid throwing away widgets that don’t fit together or picking up the pieces of a poor onboarding experience – the cost of wasted materials and time is less when quality is good.
- Change is easier. When you know exactly what your customer needs and how you will deliver it – time after time – you have a nice stable foundation for change.
- Customer satisfaction is higher. Imagine a business with great reviews, quiet call centres, repeat business. They all come with high customer satisfaction and that depends on good quality. I love this ad, for me it says its all.
*I am shamelessly quoting an urban legend. The only data I have found to back up this premis is more subtle. If you have two disatisfied customers, the one who complains is more likely to rebuy your product or service than the one who stays stum. Source: https://www.imanet.org/-/media/3624cb55dea84e3c8285bbb5b97fe4e4.ashx