Customer Service – Quality

Quality is a relative term.  It will be impractical to promise the best possible quality, as any product or service can be improved.  What is required is that the product or service on offer meets with the expectations of the user and delivers what is promised.The customer experiences poor service when the quality delivered is not up to the parameters either advertised or assured at the time of entering into the contract.

While it is possible that the poor quality delivered may be due to factors beyong the control of the supplier, such possible developments must be anticipated and redressal mechanisms put in place that will address the issue in such a way that the customer is satisfied with the attention paid to his compaint.

Oftentimes, the problem that the customer faces is that the redressal mecahnism is inadequate, leading to further frustration. So, the original problem of poor     quality delivered gets compounded by an inadequate response to the complaint of the customer.

The most common response one comes across when this happens, is the tendency of the person handling the customer, passing the buck.  How often do we meet someone saying something like – "Oops, another one!  We have had so many this week.  The company/back office/manufacturing etc, are not taking any notice of the complaints flooding us.  I shall pass yours along too."

Such responses, or equivalent words, are so devastating that one wonders if the people running the business know about such responses in the front line.

On the other hand, there are organizations which handle quality complaints in such a wonderful way that the customer is left being an ambassador for the company.

To summarize:

1.  Promise a quality that meets the customer’s expectation – fitness for purpose.

2.  Deliver the promised quality.

3.  Seek to avoid complaints about quality by taking all such steps as necessary before the product/service reaches the customer.

4.  Anticipate that despite such precautions,  the quality occasionally may not meet the promised parameter. Put in a complaint redressal mechanism that immediately resolves the issue raised by the customer.

5.  Ensure that the interface of the seller with the customer takes responsibility for the defective product/service and assures the customer that the complaint will receive the attention that it deserves and that the customer can expect a satisfying response within a specified period.