How important is quality?

Scenario #1:   Suppose that you had a friend that worked for a company that provided the kind of solution that you were looking for. Suppose that you called your friend and said, “Hey, we should talk. I’m thinking that I need what your company does.” Suppose you told him three times and HE NEVER CAME! Eventually, you gave up and bought from somebody else. Now, suppose that sometime later, you ask your friend how come he never responded and he tells you that he wasn’t confident that his company would deliver a quality solution to you.

What would you think? Are you happy that your friend ‘protected’ you from his employer or are you disappointed that your friend would represent a company that may not deliver quality?

Scenario #2:   Can you count on your company delivering quality? If/when you get a call from a dissatisfied customer, are you surprised or is it more like, “Again?” Does your company have the same issues with quality over and over again? Can you assume that your company is ‘in the right’, or is it just as likely that the customer has good reason to be dissatisfied?

Would you work for a company that consistently under-delivered?

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3 thoughts on “How important is quality?

  1. I am very surprised that there are no comments on this one. Part of my varied background is in “quality,” so I’ve waited a little bit to see how the sales experts respond. I didn’t want Rick to feel ignored, so I have to chime in now. Scenario 1 would leave me with mixed feelings. First, I am pleased that my friend has the sense to protect me from his employers’ lower quality goods. On the other hand, I wish he had replied the first time with an explanation that his company sells purely by price, and he knows that is not my compelling concern. I have to assume his products embarrass him. In my view, it is perfectly fine to sell on price alone, if that is the clear focus of your company and its marketing approach. We all see television advertising everyday where the flooring companies never mention product quality, durability, or any other tangible detail of their goods. Their primary discussion is price, with a short nod to quick lead time. If that is you focus, be up front with it and we should all be clever enough to recognize that there is a reason you offer the best prices. Scenario 2: I joined my company as operations manager almost ten years ago, at a time when quality of our products was very good, but the quality of our information and communication to customers had not been for quite a while. During my first couple of years, I spoke with many customers who had valid reasons for complaint. And, yes, the complaints centered on several repeated issues – but that made it easy to fix! Would I work for a company that consistently under-delivered? Sure! But only if I have the authority and responsibility to make the changes to fix the problem. If I were to work as an outside salesman for such a company, and did not believe there was a viable effort to fix the problem, I’d be looking for a new gig!

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