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This week The Stretched Blog is focusing on quality. Yesterday, I shared about Mr. Bobo, a man who clearly had an influence on me when it comes to quality. Through the comments, it’s been interesting to hear how others have had a quality influence on The Stretched Community. Today, I take the discussion of quality to another place. I hope you’ll read along and add to the comments.
When I think of the word quality, I often think about times when I have been impacted by poor quality. Poor quality is easy to remember. It happens when our expectations aren’t met. It happens when we are inconvenienced or when we’re treated poorly.
I remember a time when I picked up a brand new car several years ago. I love the smell of a new car, and I was looking forward to driving the new car off the lot and getting used to the new vehicle. You can imagine my disappointment when just a half mile down the road the transmission seized and the car stopped. Obviously, the transmission product quality was overlooked when this vehicle was shipped from the factory.
I also recall a time when my family was turned away at a hotel despite our reservations and despite the fact that we had confirmed our reservations earlier that day. The hotel had obviously overbooked for the evening, and we were victims of the poor service quality.
In both of these cases, quality was a big issue. As service or product providers, we fail when we permit our products to be released without appropriately checking for quality. Customers deserve our best. Having said this, I realize that mistakes and errors happen. When this happens, we must ask, “How do we respond to flaws in quality?”
Our failure becomes catastrophic when we ignore the product or service faults. Customers change loyalties. They can become outspoken against our product or service especially when we fail to take corrective action to improve our quality.
On the flip side, when we respond quickly and decisively to our lapses in quality, we demonstrate to our customers that we care and that we truly want the best for them. It shows them that we’re committed to getting it right.
Looking back to my new car experience, the car dealership had an embarrassing situation on their hands. Despite the fact that they did not manufacture the car, they had the uncomfortable position of taking responsibility for the situation. I honestly don’t remember all the details of how the situation was resolved; however, I do remember being satisfied with the actions taken by the car dealership. The dealership acted quickly and appropriately to make sure my total experience was a quality experience.
As for the hotel situation, the hotel staff found a room for us, but our kids had to sleep on the floor. As we made our way to our room, we heard other hotel patrons complaining about the poor service they were receiving. You can guess that our family won’t be going back to that hotel again.
How we respond to lapses in quality matters also.
Share about a time when you experienced quality either initially or in response to less than stellar quality. How does quality drive your future consumer decisions? How do you make sure quality is part of your product delivery?