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Friday, June 20, 2014

Lean Quote: Quality is Really About Customer Service

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"Quality is understanding, accepting, and meeting the needs and expectations of customers.— W. David Hall, Prosolve Consulting LTD

Customer satisfaction is one of the most important aspects of any organization. If customers aren’t satisfied, they will take their business elsewhere and the organization won’t last.

For any business the customer is the lifeblood. Every process and every action internal or external should ultimately result in the value addition to the customer and the customer’s delight. Therefore it is essential that the customer needs, wants and expectations are identified before you embark on a quality building program.

Fundamentally, there are three levels of quality customer service:

First level: Conformance to Customers basic requirements, includes safety /health.

Second level: Customer satisfaction with Customer's expressed requirements.

Third level: Customer delight with unexpected new quality achieved by meeting customer's latent requirements.

Quality is an ever evolving perception by the customer of the value provided by a product. It is not a static perception that never changes but a fluid process that changes as a product matures (innovation) and other alternatives (competition) are made available as a basis of comparison.

Remember that long term profitability isn’t as much in winning customers as in keeping customers. Each individual customer’s perception of your company will determine how well you do and that perception will depend on the level of customer service you provide.

Since the customer is the only reason you have a job, if you are not willing to satisfy the customer…then you might as well go home; you are not needed. Remember that perception is reality with customer service. If your customers don’t see your organization as one that engages in customer-focused behavior, then you are not providing exceptional customer service. Treating your customers as valued individuals is often more important than price.

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