Quality Improvements = Improved Customer Service
How a coffeemaker taught us to look again for quality improvements
To give outstanding service to customers, and gain new ones, requires continuing to re-tool how we work. Here’s an illustration: PQA bought a new coffeemaker that lacked the “desperation” valve (also called Pause-N-Serve). Not a good choice!
We don’t want to make the same mistake with our customers. The sequence is:
Well-designed processes give the customer a quick and seamless service experience.
Satisfied customers re-order, purchase more, and tell others (and the reverse is true).
Good processes reduce errors, rework, waste and downtime.
In short, what we call “Less Stress – More Money.”
ISO 9001:2015 defines quality as, essentially, ‘conformance to requirements’ and that really means the customer’s. If we understand the customer’s written – and unwritten – requirements, we’ll look for effective and efficient methods of reaching those requirements, which then please new and repeat customers alike.
A fresh look at how we work can yield improvements
Here are some places to look for customer-pleasing process improvements:
How much time or how many keystrokes or steps, to add a new customer to your system?
Do you make customers fill out forms or go through those steps just to send you an order? How many are frustrated with your process?
Do you lose new customers after the first order -- and do you know why?
How often do you deliver the wrong item, service or information?
If your on-time delivery is below 90%, who isn’t happy? Is OTD higher for your best customers than for others?
Do you often have to move an order ahead of other orders in order to keep it on schedule?
Do you know exactly where any order is in your system, at any time?
Are you certain that the product or service conforms to specifications, at every stage of production?
How clear are instructions and specifications for jobs? Clear enough so any trained employee could pick up a job and continue it?
How much profit are you losing on re-work and corrections?
If a key employee was out sick for a month, how would their responsibility be handled?
If a customer walked into your shop unannounced, would they be impressed with the cleanliness, organization, and efficiency? Is the atmosphere calm and ordered, or tense and chaotic?
How long has it been since an on-the-job injury?
What questions would you add?
And, which of these could you act on before the end of the year, to create improvements in customer satisfaction – not to mention safety and efficient operations?
PQA Certification is here to help you understand the requirements of the ISO standards, which when followed tend to result in “Less stress – More money.” Contact us for a free quote on certification or training!