Quotes in customer focus
There are four prongs of quality and four ways to improve quality of product and service:
- Innovation in product and service
- Innovation in process
- Improvement of existing product and service
- Improvement of existing process
The common mistake is the supposition that quality is ensured by No. 4, improvement of process, that operations going off without blemish on the factory floor, in the bank, in the hotel will ensure quality. Good operations are essential, yet they do not ensure quality. Quality is made in the boardroom.
A bank that failed last week may have had excellent operations— speed at the tellers’ windows with few mistakes; few mistakes in bank statements; likewise in the calculation of interest and of penalties and loans. The cause of failure at the bank was bad management, not operations.
It will not suffice to have customers that are merely satisfied. An unhappy customer will switch. Unfortunately, a satisfied customer may also switch, on the theory that he could not lose much, and might gain.
Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your product and service, and that bring friends with them.
No defects, no jobs. Absence of defects does not necessarily build business… Something more is required.
Quality in a product or service is not what the supplier puts in. It is what the customer gets out and is willing to pay for. A product is not quality because it is hard to make and costs a lot of money, as manufacturers typically believe. This is incompetence. Customers pay only for what is of use to them and gives them value. Nothing else constitutes quality.
Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.
You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new.
If there's one reason we have done better than most of our peers in the Internet space over the last six years, it is because we have focused like a laser on customer experience, and that really does matter, I think, in any business. It certainly matters online, where word of mouth is so very, very powerful.
A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.
We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It's our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.