Quality means customer is first

Posted On Monday, 29 September 2003 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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In the total quality management sense, the word "quality" defines meeting the needs of a client.

Jonathan SmithSo, for example, a family living in a remote  part of the country would find their transport needs are best met by an old, yet reliable, Land-Rover. In this context, a Land-Rover is a quality car. A Rolls-Royce here would not be.

 

So, as far as total quality management is concerned, quality is very much in the eye of the beholder.

 

Quality is defined in terms of what the user wants and expects.

 

It need not be expensive.

 

If a customer wants a distinctive, hand-knitted designer pullover, he may have to pay R800 for the article but if he wants a jersey that is going to keep him warm he might have to pay R200 for the article. Both are quality products - if they meet his needs.

 

Secondly the quality of a particular product or service is composed of many separate elements.

 

The quality of a loaf of brown bread, for example, will depend not only on its taste and physical appearance but also on its perceived and actual nutritional value or perhaps on how long it keeps fresh.

 

The quality of a service provided by a hospital will be composed of many variables; the appearance of the wards and the waiting rooms, the helpfulness of the staff, the skill of the staff and the equipment available at the hospital.

 

Since customers are imperative to the total quality management definition of quality, it is  tempting to think that quality can somehow be added on at the last minute, before the client receives the product.

 

To provide a good product or service quality must be built in at the very start and maintained at every stage.

 

Quality management becomes a powerful tool for doing this.

 

In setting the quality performance standards required of an organisation, it has been suggested that we find answers to the following six questions:

 

  • Who are our customers?
  • What do they expect?
  • What standards of service do we aim to provide?
  • How are we failing to do this?
  • Why are we failing to do this?
  • What can be done to improve things?

 

Next week, we shall consider the answers to each of these questions in the context of the property sector and a property-services company.

 

 

Last modified on Monday, 26 May 2014 11:55

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