Keeping Customers Top of Mind in Quality Management Systems
First up, we cannot over-state the importance of customer feedback and support when it comes to quality management. How else will you know whether you are truly meeting improvement goals without the feedback of the very people who are investing in your business? So to answer the question above, stakeholders should be involved – at least to some extent. Here are a few suggestions on how to get the right level of external feedback from your stakeholders.
- Develop a basic survey type form that allows customers to rate various aspects of the business on a scale of 1 to 10.
- Foster a climate of open communication with customers – enabled feedback channels online, in-store and across other channels such as social media.
- Include third party suppliers and outsourced suppliers too – they are just as likely to have valuable feedback as customers.
- Deliver on the things you promise – by listening to feedback, you have a responsibility to take the feedback seriously and implement feasible suggestions if possible.
- Focus on specific areas for a more targeted, valuable approach – for in-store customers, find out what part of the sales process causes potential issues, and fix them promptly.
- Use the feedback you receive on projects and general quality levels, and ingrate it into assessments. If there are any specific causes for concern with individual employees, such as sales staff who are not helping customers properly, this data can be used for performance reviews too.
Encouraging a culture of communication amongst employees, managers and stakeholders is one of the most effective ways to slowly but surely bolster quality management strategies, working from the inside and out to improve things within the business as a whole.