Have you noticed that the perception of Quality is changing?
In fact, studies indicate that there is often a big gap between what organization executives view as ‘good quality’ of their products and what their customers think.
This gap in perception of product quality is not new.
More than 40 years ago, in a Gallup survey carried out in 1981 (source: Wall Street Journal), only 13% of the CEOs of the nation’s largest 1300 companies said that quality is declining. In the same year, in a separate study of 7000 consumers, 49% said that it has declined and 59% expected it to stay down or decline further.
Fast forward four decades and nothing seems to have changed 😊
This gap in perception of Quality between company executives who are in charge of driving product engineering and quality and the users of the product show that in most organizations the concept of Quality is production-driven and not customer-driven.
For organizations looking to improve the Quality of their products or services and making it more customer-centric, there are two basic questions to be asked:
How does a customer define Quality?
Quality could mean different things to different customers – design, reliability, durability, ease of use, user experience, value for money, and so on.
Perception of Quality also changes as customers go through the different stages of the customer journey.
Before the purchase, Quality can mean…
the company’s brand and image
published comparative test results
opinion of friends
At the point of purchase, the meaning of Quality can be…
manuals and specs
user experience during sales
price to performance value
terms of the contract and warranties
After the purchase, the meaning of Quality can change to…
ease of setup process
effectiveness of customer service
Once a company understands what their customers are looking for when they ask for ‘good quality’, they are in a much better position to provide it.
Let’s discuss the second question in my next post… 😊
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