Quality management is not a new concept, and is not only within the hands of the experts to measure quality anymore. Nowadays, it is the most affected, the customer, who is asked to evaluate quality. Retailers of all sizes across the world have adopted a quality management system which promotes customer satisfaction as a driving force for business operations.
What is Quality Management?
Quality management is built on the idea that a company’s long-term success comes from customer satisfaction. That satisfaction, plus how it is achieved, is measured and upheld through four tenets:
- Quality planning
- Quality assurance
- Quality control
- Quality improvement
Implementing a quality management system is the best way to navigate these components and their effectiveness while setting your organization up for success.
There are many quality management systems (QMS), that help organizations identify opportunities and achieve improvement. Customer feedback management is an important part of assuring overall quality and it is in this area that we excel.
Whether you have a robust quality management system in place or you’re new to this field, there are a few things to consider. Try to keep these practices of strong quality management in mind.
BEST PRACTICES OF Quality Management
Remember: Satisfaction Is Key
The goal of any quality management strategy is customer satisfaction. Early on, organizations should draft a document outlining quality standards. This can cover anything from how customers are greeted to how disputes are resolved.
Gathering customer feedback should be at the forefront of any quality management strategy. A customer’s experience, including their positive and negative opinions, should help formulate and innovate your strategy. By obtaining actionable insights, you can continuously improve your methods.
Determine the best way to evaluate and measure quality management
How are your customers rating their experiences? What are the positive and negative points? By collecting feedback you’ll obtain a key indicator of how your efforts are translating into the real experiences of your customers.
Positive and negative reviews should be used as a basis for evaluating what is working as well as what isn’t. Praising the positive while confronting the negative head-on will strengthen your resolve and improve your performance.
Set and Reach Performance Goals
Setting goals is the best way to determine if your quality management initiatives are working. Now that evaluation and measurement standards are in place, use them to predict customer satisfaction and regularly set achievable goals based on your findings.
This can be a set number of positive reviews or a minimum number of negative reviews, for example. At each level, the goal should be to exceed your standard for customer satisfaction. Strive for 100% each time and remember that the customer’s experience is informing your decisions.
Share Customer Feedback Internally
Customer reviews and other forms of feedback should be shared with the group most impacted by it. This may be an individual region, store, or even a specific sales team. Hearing the positive results of your strategy will help embolden your staff and promote adoption of your customer satisfaction strategies.
On the other hand, hearing the negative feedback is just as important if not more so. Negative feedback should be looked at as an opportunity rather than a death sentence. Poor customer experiences will occur despite your best efforts. What matters most, and what should be built into your strategy, is how to address these situations.
Using the experience as a team-building exercise or a learning opportunity is always a good approach. Addressing the customer’s concerns swiftly and providing an adequate resolution is also optimal.
For the most part, customers are reasonable people who do understand that occasionally things will go wrong with any retailer. What matters most to them in these instances is how the retailer handles the situation.
On the road to achieving stellar customer satisfaction, how you handle the bad times is often more important than anything else. Some of the best customers you cultivate will come from those who did not have a great experience but were blown away by how a poor experience was turned into a positive one.
Share Findings At a Higher Level
Sharing data, especially customer feedback, with your organization is crucial to the success of your quality management program. By demonstrating how your efforts are yielding positive results, you will increase adoption rates which will support your program and may be instrumental in achieving synergy within the organization.
Quality Management Is Key
Your company’s long-term success may lie in the hands of customer satisfaction, but that satisfaction is by and large built on listening and responding to customer feedback. Quality management is here to stay and it continues to evolve.