Customer quality improvement refers to the steps required to ensure that customer needs are achieved and the customers are happy and contended with the kind of services offered to them. The process also aims at improving the relation between a consumer and the service provider (Tenner and DeToro 98).
All this customer improvement process and strategy is a bid to ensure that the product or service provider to ensure that they compete fairly or above their competitors to meet the market demand by availing high quality services to their consumers.
The quality improvement process entails nine important steps. These nine steps are very essential in the process and the absence of one will make the whole process ineffective. The steps are systematic as shown below in the order as they appear.
First of all the fundamental step is identifying the organization’s customers. This will help the organization in forming a basis as to who is their customer. With this in mind the organization will be able to distinguish between the different classes of people they are dealing with (Hanna, M. and Newman, W. 106).
The organization also determines its key or main customers, these are the customers that are loyal to the organization and are of great importance to the company’s survival in the market. There are also the internal and external customers which also need to be identified.
The significance of identifying a market is to help the organization know its strengths and weakness. It also assists the organization to know how to take advantage of any opportunities they may have and deal with threats from other competitors in the market.
Determination of Customer Needs and Expectations
The organization has a role to play in finding out what their customers need and expect from them. In most cases the organizations management may assume they are already acquainted with their customer requirements but in reality there is always a small percentage around ten percent which is unknown to the organization. This negligible percentage is what forms the difference between two competing organizations. This can only be found out by either carrying out a research where the customers will be the main respondents.
For one to get the requirements of a customer, it is important that their needs are first understood thereafter put in place. The organization uses feedback from its customers regarding the quality of their goods and services. It is from this report that the organization uses the recommendations by the consumers as input to determine the areas that need to be improved to improve the customers’ perception of your organization.
Determining Internal Quality Characteristics
This majorly entails conversion of the customer needs into the inner features of the enterprise. The internal quality characteristic is achieved by the organization using the requirements of the customers to improve their products or services (Davis, et al. 65). For instance a bus transport company in noticing that their consumers get bored while travelling it may opt to provide reading materials or other forms of entertainment such as installing television screens or music systems.
Despite the fact that the buses may be having comfortable seats a step further to make it more luxurious will be added advantage to the bus company. In the above scenario the bus management will have taken the passengers needs who are the customers and turned it into a reality. Most enterprises are capable of dealing with this because of the expertise acquired through such relationships.
Opportunities Selection and Prioritization
In this stage the organizations management is faced with the responsibility of establishing a team charter. This team has the mandate to prepare a statement of its mission, objective and its operating parameters. The team also examines previous step taken by the organization to improve customer quality delivery. It looks at the impact of the needs and expectations of the customers after the upgrade or improvement.
In accordance to the organizations strategic objectives and missions the team or management conducts a survey on the customer quality management. The charter team needs to work on the lowest score after conducting the survey not leaving anything to chances and prioritizing on how to narrow down the gap between the highest and lowest score. At this stage conducting a business planning process in case of absence of one would be very essential.
Improvement of Products and Services
For an organization that is not financially stable this will be a very difficult stage as it will experience hitches in this process. This is a critical stage that makes organizations unable to achieve their set goals. Making the changes arrived at through the customer survey is indeed a costly process as it entails so many activities.
The activities could include; training, tam meetings, system upgrades among other activities. The organization also needs to carry out these activities themselves rather than hiring someone to do it for them. Hiring someone will have a risk of your implementation plan leaking to your competitors which will end up with a loss in market share.
Implementation Process Control
This is the most important of all stages in the improvement process. The organization now puts into practice all its plans and project. This is where the organization is charged with the responsibility of implementing its plans. The changes are made in accordance to the survey made and the recommendations put forward by the customers. This is where the organization makes sure that the prerequisites of the customers are met.
Conducting Sales and After Sales Services
This step is a bit easier for the organization as the sales process will be simplified by the previous processes implemented before. The organization will find the goods and services selling themselves since they meet the customer requirements.
Contrary with the goods selling themselves the organization needs to make a follow up and find out the reactions of the customers to the improved products. This will help the organization rectify any problem that may arise before it is too late(Slack, et al. 78) The after sales services and follow up processes need to be carried out more often to measure the customers perception of the product on regular basis.
This may be carried out using the customer centered measure. In this case the organization needs to put in place a mechanism for getting feedback from their customers. This eventually will help the organization in keeping track of its sales.
Customer quality improvement is an essential process in any organization. It helps organizations or firms in all parts of the world not only in united Arab emirate boost their businesses. Customers being an asset to any organization they need to be maintained by meeting their customer requirements. In a nutshell the success of any business or organization highly depends on customer satisfaction that is why it is in important to ensure that customers get quality services and products.
Davis, M. et al. (2006), “Operations Management for Competitive Advantage with Global Cases”, International ed. McGraw-Hill, USA.
Hanna, M. and Newman, W. (2001), “Integrated Operations Management” 1st ed. Prentice Hall, UK.
Slack, N. et al. (2005), “Operations Management”, Fifth ed. Prentice Hall, UK.
Tenner, A. and DeToro, I. (1992), “Total Quality Management”, Addison – Wesley Publishing Co. USA.