Make quality a priority in everything you do.
First, give your products or services a checkup. Are you giving customers the best you can at the price point you set? Is there anything you can do to increase the quality without incurring a higher cost — get a new vendor for parts or product, spend more time on one aspect of a job versus another? Is the best service for the customer turning the job over to an associate who is more qualified to meet a unique demand?
Set standards of quality for your work. It helps to define what you consider to be quality work. You also need to take the comments from your customers into consideration. How valuable is your service from the customer’s standpoint? What are the outcomes your customers expect for each job or sale, service provided, or performance of a product? It helps to put your standards in writing and to post them where every employee can see them. If you can easily gather measures of your quality standards, do it! Post the weekly or monthly results and trends in a visible place. If you can foster positive competition with separate measurement by group or individual, by all means try it!
Involve everyone. To make quality a priority throughout your business, you need to involve everyone who works with or for you. The people that work on the products and provide the services to the customer usually have ideas on how to improve quality. Employees who are part of the plan are more likely to feel a sense of ownership and pride and to think up and more quickly implement new ideas for improvement. Plan, manage, lead, and staff to achieve better quality results and great customer experiences.
Show your commitment to quality. Showing employees you are committed to quality yourself sets the tone and provides a setting in which they can achieve their best. Train your work force to perform well and to make improvements. Praise and reward employees when their actions result in quality results and customer satisfaction.
Set quality standards for every operation of your business. Focus on “getting things done right” the first time to eliminate customer problems as well as waste of product or time. Identify operational practices that impede quality. Your processes should provide for proper support for your business, of course, but they should also provide support for quick response to customers needs. They should not stand in the way of customer satisfaction. Analyze your systems and work with staff to make improvements that allow your quality to shine through in everything you do.