Benchmarking Product/Service Quality from The Customer’s Perspective
Have you benchmarked the product and service quality you deliver to your customers?
As competitive pressures increase enhanced product and service quality have become major objectives of corporate strategies. The need to respond to daily operating problems, sales and marketing issues often prevents managers from aggressively dealing with quality issues. The lesson is clear. Sooner or later every company must assess the levels of quality it delivers to its customers.
What specific quality factors are really important to your customers?
How does your company rate against these factors? By product? By market? By type of customer?
What changes can you make to leverage your product and service position in the marketplace?
Our experience has been that, in many cases, management needs to pay more attention to:
- Product performance
- Customer order handling
- Technical service and support
- Administration of pricing programs
- Customer product and information requests
Managers need to examine these and other product and service quality issues in order to understand how they affect the ultimate success of their company's marketing and sales programs. In many cases, improved quality can provide the leverage needed to gain new customers, improve market share, and increase profits.
If you have not addressed these issues, now may be the right time to do so.
Benchmarking should form the framework for your product and service quality programs....
Product and service quality Benchmarking program
Our program is designed to objectively measure and assess the quality of your products and the services you provide your customers. It examines the importance of individual quality factors and compares your performance to that of other suppliers in your industry and your direct competitors. It is designed to provide immediate and continuing input to your corporate and marketing planning processes.
It concentrates on the quality factors that influence customer purchasing decisions. Typically, these include:
- Product quality and performance
- Customer service and delivery
- Order placement and processing
- Order cycle times and fill rates
- Technical assistance and support
- Pricing policies and terms of sale
- Ease of doing business
Primary Objective - Benchmark customer perceptions of product and service quality and compare them with company goals, policies, and programs.
- Develop information that can be used to:
- Improve market share
- Enter new markets
- Increase customer awareness of quality and service
- Monitor the effectiveness of quality improvement programs
- Strengthen customer relationships
An organized approach to benchmarking quality is essential....
Our approach to this program begins with the development of a questionnaire that addresses your company's unique quality issues. It is based on a thorough review of present plans and policies and interviews with key management personnel. The customer survey consists of a limited number of personal interviews - to finalize questionnaire content and survey techniques - and a carefully designed telephone and mail survey.
Our analysis covers such items as:
- Customer rankings of issues in terms of relative importance to their business and purchase-decision processes
- Customer ratings of your performance compared to other suppliers
- Customer comparisons of your performance vis a vis your direct competitors
- A listing of the most important and least important quality factors by product, market, channel, and segment
- A gap analysis that highlights the variance between relative importance and comparison ratings for each quality factor.
Our surveys and analyses measure and benchmark specific elements of product and service quality and can serve as the basis for guiding and monitoring the effectiveness of quality improvement programs at your company.
Benchmarking can provide significant insights to business planning
At the conclusion of our studies, we provide both oral and written reports describing our work and the analysis of results. Benchmarks and potential opportunities for improvement are identified and future benefits estimated. Our reports are in sufficient detail that action plans can be easily implemented by the company, with or without our continued assistance. The results of our efforts provide management with a "report card" on the present status of business operations and a direction for prioritized actions aimed at the future.
REM Associates Qualifications
REM Associates provides consulting services designed to assist a wide range of consumer and industrial companies where operations and service improvements can help management focus programs and efforts to increase market share and profits, and improve service to customers.
We have effectively served many clients in this specific area over a long period of time. Through our experience, we have become familiar with current trends and practices and know what to look for as well as how to look.
REM Associates is a network of over forty highly experienced consulting personnel. These senior management people provide tailored resources to meet the specific needs of each company within a fee structure that is substantially lower than the larger management-consulting firms.
Quality and service benchmarking can be the key to success of business management in the 2000's
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