Good product, good service, bad quality = The road to hell

Customer disatisfaction is not just a consequence but a route to many other problems.

Think about it! A disatisfied customer may stop buying from you, eventually leave (customer churn), reward you with very poor customer reviews, share their poor experiences with others about your brand (negative word of mouth) and even discourage others from buying from you (brand damage). That’s not even an exhaustive list as it can lead to several other known and unknown problems that cripple your business growth. And if you continue operating your business without addressing customer disatisfaction, you will only experience customer churn in your business, where the few customers you’ve acquired start to leave, declining your sales and affecting your business in so many other ways too.

The question is, how can you prevent this from happening?

Customer disatisfaction may be a result of many things, one of them being poor quality products & services. The moment your product/service fails to meet customer expectations, the customer becomes disatisfied. While some customers give you a chance to address it, others may not have the patience. This is why this article will address the topic of quality with focus on how you can offer products/services that meet customer expectations.

Some tips about quality

  1. The customer’s definition of quality matters more — no matter how you describe the quality of the shirt, dress or software you’re selling, if it’s not fit for purpose or meeting the customers’ expectations, there’s a problem somewhere. It is very important to recognise how your customer perceives quality, so you translate their requirements into your product, service and process. Even when customers pay a little or acquire your services for FREE, they still have an expectation of quality. So that’s the question, how does your customer define quality?
  2. Design quality across board — it is never enough to expect a quality product or service at the end of your production/delivery process. You need to design quality across the entire process. Of what use is a great product if it ends up being delivered late, and supported by non-responsive support teams? Doesn’t sound right does it? A customer expects quality across board, not just using the product, but while being served by your customer services and other touchpoints across your value chain. This should also include your key partners e.g. suppliers, 3rd party handlers etc. who are helping you deliver your services. Can you boast of good quality across board?
  3. Don’t stop at good, desire great — delivering acceptable quality is definitely a standard. No customer wants less. And it is the consistency that makes them rely on your services, a point at which they start to become loyal customers to your brand. But it is not enough. Continue to find ways to improve so you can exceed customer expectations with great products, great services and unforgettable experiences. This is what some of the biggest brands such as Apple and Microsoft are doing, leaving customers with no choice but to agree that they provide quality overall.

So what next?

Now that you’ve considered your customer’s perspectives on quality, your entire value/delivery chain and improvement opportunities, you’re probably wondering where to start? An audit will be good. Take some time to evaluate your current products, services, processes, practises and even business culture. This will help you identify where quality may be lacking and how you can address it, with the aim of becoming a business that is associated with high quality products, services and experiences.

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