How do I ask good quality questions

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Step 1: Recognize and notice how your customer understands quality.

Normally it can be assumed that every company strives to deliver quality. And in many industries, differentiation based on quality is part of the corporate strategy, as can be clearly seen in the automotive and electrical industries, for example. The basic dilemma, however, is that many entrepreneurs believe that they are delivering good work or good quality just because the product or commodity in question is objectively good. The customer, on the other hand, is of the opinion that this should of course be the case, but that this by no means already means good or particularly good quality. Because the customer assesses the totality of all services, i.e. the process of order acceptance, possible advice, compliance with deadlines, the processing of the order, etc. Only the sum of all services shapes his perception of quality!

Step 2: Understand and Realize the Benefits of Quality.

"Quality is the fulfillment of expectations or customer requests for (product) properties and services at the desired time at an acceptable price." This definition already shows that quality must be understood very comprehensively. It is a combination of product, service, time and price. Those who align their company to a high quality standard have the following advantages:

  • The higher the quality standard, the lower the number of complaints and replacement services.
  • If there are no complaints, there is no need to invest additional time and effort - combined with higher costs.
  • The greater the quality gap to the competition, the less talk is about the price. The price is then of secondary importance - you earn “double”, as it were.
  • High quality automatically means satisfied customers. Satisfied customers are convinced recommenders. This reduces the cost of advertising.
  • If the quality is (noticeably) better, it has a lasting impact on the company's image. This creates - almost automatically - a differentiation from the competition.
  • Employees like to identify with a company that has “a good reputation”. They are then convinced recommenders or ambassadors.

Step 3: Define quality and customer satisfaction as the basis of your marketing.

In order to achieve customer satisfaction, quality must be delivered in all areas of performance. This also means that so-called soft factors such as punctuality, adherence to deadlines, friendliness, cleanliness at the workplace, etc. are provided in the sense of customer expectations. When quality is understood in such a comprehensive way, it also becomes clear that Total Quality Management (TQM) is an introduction to the subject of marketing. The pragmatic approach to marketing in its "original form" is customer satisfaction. When asked: "What do my customers want and how can I meet these expectations?" And "How can I optimize my services using TQM so that a targeted demand arises?", The essential basic rules of marketing are met.

Step 4: Record the actual status with the help of checklists.

The approach is as simple as it is understandable: checklists are created to identify deficits in the current situation. A new target state can then be developed on the basis of the knowledge gained. In order to achieve and maintain the highest possible quality standard, binding specifications must be drawn up. So that everyone involved works according to the same criteria, it makes sense to create checklists for the various orders or processes. This ensures that optimal preparation, processing, accounting and control are always carried out.

Step 5: Actively involve your employees.

Employees are the link between the company and the customer. If the company makes the wishes and expectations of its customers the guideline for entrepreneurial action, but the employees are unfriendly, all efforts are in vain. In many companies and shops, customers are reminded of the sentence: "The only thing that bothers them is the customer." Unfortunately, because these types of slogans do not exist without a reason, it is necessary that you oblige your employees to behave in a customer-oriented manner.

Step 6: Trust is good, control is better.

If changes are planned, the subsequent control is a must. If there is no control, sooner or later everyone involved will revert to their old forms of behavior. Therefore, this topic must be discussed together with the reorientation. It must be shown what consequences those who do not comply with can be expected. In this way, no general discontent can develop in the event of any necessary sanctions.

Step 7: Use complaints and customer opinions to optimize.

It is important that the specifications developed in the company for order processing and findings from complaints are set out in writing. This achieves three things: All employees have identical work instructions, even in the case of personnel changes. Nobody can say: “I didn't understand that”, and there are binding guidelines for controls. It is also important to note that after completion of the work or the service provided, the customer's opinion must be obtained so that it can be recognized whether the customer was satisfied with the work and with the employee. Many entrepreneurs believe that the customer is automatically satisfied if he does not complain. This is often an expensive mistake!

Step 8: Link quality and time management closely together.

“Time is Money” - we all know this saying, but not all of them act on it. With consistent time management, more can usually be achieved, as time-consuming activities and disruptions can be avoided. In corporate practice, this means that it makes sense to closely combine time management and total quality management in order to make the most of the time available.