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What are the quality standards that we see today and how have they varied over the years?
That is a question that really defines what seems to be a sliding quality scale grading system that customers give us relative their expected levels of performance. In the field of surgery, the expectations are for nothing but perfection. In some service industries an error can be fixed promptly without customers making a big deal out of it. In some service industries, however, an error can result in some serious consequences to your customer and your reputation. The real question is what is the nature of the service that you provide and what is the consequence of not fixing the product in a prompt and professional manner?
This true sliding scale of quality expectations was clear to me recently when I visited a couple of the current customer support web sites to look up a specific service company. Under the praise section were some comments that were certainly positive but nothing that truly showed exemplary service performance in my eyes. In fact, the positive comments seemed more like common business practices to me. Take some time and look up your company and others to see what positive customer comments are listed by customers. When I looked at the service company in question I expected to see unusually high praise for exceptional performance but instead saw comments that really should have been just part of doing a quality job.
Some of the praise for this company spoke about the following activities:
As you can see from this list of comments about this contractor, they appear to be a quality company but the customers have listed expected activities as the reason for giving them a quality rating.
I then wondered what they said about the poorly rated companies?
The comments weren’t just about poor performance but also included statements bordering on fraud and deception. A common thread in the poor performance ratings seemed to be that the company had adopted a "take the money and run" philosophy. I should also note that some of those companies listed are still apparently is business despite these remarks. I was really hoping to find some comments like: "This company was the best that we have ever dealt with," or that they fixed some ongoing problems that other companies had never even discussed with them; "My equipment has never operated this well," or "Nice to know that there are still high quality companies like this around."
We can all go the extra mile to set new standards of excellence by raising the bar that seems to be set for every other company out there. Go that extra mile to give your customers the highest possible levels of performance and much, much more. Certified Service Centers do set the standards in the industries that we represent and can serve to show these consumer rating companies what excellent performance really looks like to a customer. It’s not just doing the job, its doing the job better that anyone else in your marketplace.
Author: Don Pierson, President