World Quality Day (WQD) is celebrated annually on the second Thursday of November, this year falling on 12th November. The campaign is designed to promote quality management, following a different theme each year which is chosen by the CQI. Last year WQD celebrated its centenary as we looked at 100 years of quality, while 2020 brings us the theme of customer value.
Providing great customer service has always been essential to creating a strong and trustworthy business and reputation, however in the past few years the weight of customer expectations has increased.
Over this time, we’ve seen the increase of technology in business, the importance of online presence and everything on demand, which is providing businesses with a new kind of challenge. Those who provide good customer value are more likely to be sustainable and competitive, so it is vital to achieve this value… but what is ‘customer value’ and how can we achieve it?
The QCI defines customer value as:
“When customers perceive that your business truly understands their needs and is committed to meeting those needs”.
Quality management creates customer value by providing an understanding of the customer and their perception of value. It enables ways of working to provide reliable and lasting customer outcomes, operate effectively and efficiently, and enables us to strive for customer excellence. For over 100 years QCI has been supporting businesses to create customer value through quality management.
However, as customer expectations and behaviours rapidly change, the way businesses ensure customer value must also adapt and develop rapidly. Customer perception of value is now broadcast globally via social media and the internet, with 320m twitter views and 430 trip advisor views every month.
Customer feedback has become more accessible and more vital in the decision making process for businesses. With a more connected world, customers are more involved in delivering the value they want. It’s more important than ever before to be close to our customers, gaining feedback and insight into what value really is for our customers and how we can continue to grow, develop and improve in line with what our customers want.
World Quality Day is a great chance to consider customer value within our businesses. Here are some ways to look at customer value in your business and improve your customer relationships:
- How closely do you engage with your customers?
- Do you know what your customers want and need?
- Are you asking your customers the right questions?
- Do you encourage and measure customer feedback regularly?
- How good are you at working with your customers to improve service and design?
- How could you involve your customers more in the business?
Last year we looked at the past 100 years of quality management and the changes over the century. This year we are looking forward as the rapid changes in customer behaviour and our world’s technological developments provide unique and interesting new opportunities and challenges for customer value. It’s predicted we’ll see more change and developments in the next 100 years than the past century and it’s vital we continue to develop and improve with the rapid change.