What if the reason why we are currently experiencing an economic crisis is because there are too many 'get rich' schemes ripping people off or products being sold that are not quality or do not provide value? How can they get away with it? Maybe it is time for those 'advantage takers' to step back and realise they now need to provide value and quality or they won't get the droves of customers they were getting a 1-3 years back.

Have you noticed all the 'deals' that seem to be popping up lately, like 'buy xyz car and get $000s cash back'; and that's not all, you also get a set of steak knives (just kidding). If you are in business that provides a product that is 'not' of sound quality (unless you are a bargain shop), what do you think is going to happen to that business down the track. In recent months I have purchased several items through online wholesaler sites. The items were for personal use mostly, but here's the thing, most of the items have either been thrown out or just not used at all because they were not of the standard I expected.

Here is the other thing, most customers will NOT complain, they will just NEVER return to buy from you again and will tell their friends not too. Frankly, if I had seen the same items in a retail store, I would have thought they weren't worth the money, unfortunately the Internet makes products look very inviting and can easily cover up any imperfections.

Here is a classic example:

Have you ever looked for your dream home online, found it and then gone for an inspection only to realise it wasn't that big, it didn't really look that good in the flesh (so to speak), it was worn out and looked tired. After looking at a number of houses that were initially viewed online, I started to get very frustrated.

How many times have you bought something online or from a shopfront, just to find out it was rubbish? Did you return it, did you ask for your money back? Did you buy there again? If you did any of these, you are one of the minority.

So what happens then is we don't go back to purchase from that store again, simply because:

  1. the products are just not up to the quality expected
  2. for online purchases, the cost of delivery is too high, which bumps up the price to way beyond what we should really be paying for that type of product in the first place.

quality assurance

Which brings me to you and your products

In your business, you can avoid the above pitfalls by providing 'quality' products. Products that are of a high standard, that the customer will not return because it wasn't what they expected. Maybe you are not interested in ensuring your business stays around for a while, then you obviously don't need to read any further. Of course, not all businesses stock 'quality' products; take the cheap dollar markets for example. There is a huge difference though, we don't go in there expecting high quality products, we are looking for something cheap. We know what we are paying for and we don't mind doing that.

If you are really interested in providing 'quality' products (& services for that matter) for your customers, you may need to consider developing a system that allows you to automatically (through the use of standard processes) produce those 'quality' outputs. A system can be complicated and very daunting, but if you start by planning out your requirements, you will be well on your way to ensuring your products are of the quality and value you and your customers expect. There is no rule that you need to be certified to ISO 9001 standard either (unless you client requires it of course), but you can still use the standard guidelines to help you setup your system effectively.

Please comment on what you have done to introduce quality into your business philosophy! Got any interesting and unique ideas?

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