When My Business Woke Up!
I was in business for about 10 years and things were rolling really well and the business was building and money was flowing and clients were pleased. I’d read a lot of books on quality control and customer service and believed my team and myself were on top of things. Suddenly, a very satisfied client who had sent numerous emails praising our services and had often told us how delighted he was with our services, out of the blue requested a refund. I was in shock. I didn’t understand how or why a happy client would suddenly do this.
After trying to reason and negotiate with him I finally realized he wanted the money for Christmas and no matter how pleased he had been he was becoming irate when we were not giving him this undue refund after receiving the entire year of services. I learned a hard lesson. The lesson was that my team and I really didn’t understand and have in place a way to measure quality services and without creating a quality control definition for the company we would not continue our success. It was a hard lesson to learn and yet I am grateful for this lesson as it helped us begin statistical quality control measurements from that point on.
Creating Our Own Definition Of Quality Control
What is quality control? Typically quality control is a system of maintaining standards in manufactured products to make sure they meet specifications. Quality control wasn’t designed to measure the standards of services such as consulting or mentoring. Yet I knew that we had to create our way of measuring the quality of our services and our results.
We decided to measure the subjective elements of our quality of service through surveying our clients to see how they rated our services in comparison to their expectations. We created our own survey asking questions about our reliability to deliver the promised services, we measured trust and confidence in our team, we measured the attentiveness of our company and the responsiveness of our company and the overall satisfaction of our clients.
We paid a lot of attention to what our client’s expected from our services and what their perception was of the service after it was delivered to see if we met (and hopefully exceeded) their expectations.
Everyone on the team was empowered to make changes in the moment with every client to be certain we created WOW experiences for all clients.
While we were implementing these surveys I chatted with my husband who had been a director of Quality Circles many years ago for a large manufacturing plant. I wanted to understand quality assurance vs. quality control. My husband educated me and I learned that quality assurance was to ensure the quality of the processes to develop a product and quality control was to identify and check and then correct defects in the final process. I decided that although we didn’t manufacture products we did manufacture client results. So we begin analyzing the quality of how we created our consulting and consulting projects as our form of quality assurance and then our improvement processes became our quality control efforts.
Today we improved one of our very popular programs that already delivered great results for our clients by having our own quality assurance and quality control processes in place. I am thrilled to say we also re-created an educational webinar 4 times to improve it to create an even bigger WOW.
If you haven’t watched it, I invite you to watch it now and I’d love your comments here.