96 percent of consumers globally say that quality customer service is a vital factor when choosing to be loyal to a brand. It’s the reason forward-thinking companies go above and beyond to deliver the highest possible levels of customer satisfaction.
One way to keep your clients happy is by consistently offering top quality products and services. Once customers fee that they can always on the quality of what you offer, they’re much more likely to give you repeat business and tell others about your brand.
The best way to ensure that your products exceed customers’ expectations is through quality control (QC).
But exactly what is quality control? How does it benefit your business? More importantly, how can you maintain quality control in your business?
These are some of the issues we discuss in this comprehensive guide. Read on to learn more.
What Is Quality Control?
Quality control refers to a process by which businesses seek to ensure that the quality of the products they offer are maintained or improved. QC requires a company to create a work environment that allows both the management and staff to strive for perfection.
Quality control is achieved through various means, in testing a sample of the product against set specifications. One of the aspects of QC is establishing well-defined controls to standardize production and reaction to quality issues. The idea is to limit room for error.
Why Maintain Quality Control?
QC is a vital component of any well-run business. Here are some of the ways that this process can boost your business.
It Helps Minimize the Variability of Materials
Maintaining consistency when it comes to the kind of materials you use to make products is essential. But as you already know, it’s hardly possible to avoid variability. Even if you source your materials from a single source, they can’t always be exactly the same.
While you can’t always ensure that your materials are absolutely consistent, QC processes can help you identify any inconsistencies and create systems to make up for them. By compensating for any inconsistencies, you make sure that unsuitable items never end up in the hands of your customers.
It Enhances Customer Satisfaction
As we pointed out earlier, providing top quality products is one of the best ways to maintain a happy customer base. Quality control is vital in making sure that your products do what they are designed to do.
QC is especially important in the manufacturing industry, especially in the automotive sector, as this article by Sanritsu America points out. That’s because the manufacturing industry deals with massive volumes of product and has an extremely low tolerance for failure.
Of course, quality control is vital in other industries as well. If your business is in the food industry, for instance, it’s essential that a particular product tastes the way it’s supposed to and consistently behaves the same way.
It Helps You Avoid Legal Liability
The average award for product liability in 2017 was $5.1 million. That figure has no doubt increased since then. When one of your products harms your customers, and you are liable in some way, it could spell financial and reputational disaster for your brand.
QC processes help you avoid these situations by keeping any errors and inconsistencies that could make your product unsafe to use.
How to Maintain Quality Control
Now the clear benefits that come with maintaining quality control, it’s only natural that you’d be interested in learning how to establish QC processes in your business. Here are some proven quality control maintenance tips that may help.
- Start by Setting Quality Standards in Your Company
In many American industries, quality standards are already set by outside bodies, such as industry associations, government regulatory agencies, or health and safety inspectors. Some industries, however, don’t have official quality standards. Businesses need to set their own.
You’ll need to set different QC standards for each department of your company. Ensure that all standards are measurable. For instance, instead of saying that you want your communication to customers to be better, be specific by setting such standards as:
- Answering client calls by the third ring
- Resolving all customer care problems in less than five minutes
- Responding to customers’ emails within two hours
The measures above are clearly measurable.
- Focus on Most Important Quality Standards
While you want to maintain top-notch quality in every aspect of your business operation, it may not be possible to start with all of them at once. Start with standards that impact your customer experience and profits in the biggest way. This way, you get the quickest results without overwhelming your employees.
- Train Employees to Focus on Quality
Having a quality control department is not a guarantee that you will succeed in providing quality products and services consistently. Chances are other employees outside of the quality control department will not prioritize quality as that’s not their chief concern.
What you need to do is to train every employee in your business to constantly enhance quality. You can use experts in your QC department to achieve this.
- Leverage Technology
Few things have had a bigger impact on business than technology. Investing in cutting edge technology can dramatically improve efficiency and quality control processes in your company.
One of the ways technology can help your QC efforts is by streamlining data gathering. Technology gives you a variety of options, depending on your business operations.
For instance, you can install sensors that track your products in real-time and alert you whenever they detect an abnormality. This helps you to address the problem before a defective product goes through the production line or is shipped.
- Review Results
Most business software available, including customer service and CRM tools, allow you to collect and view information anytime you want to. By reviewing this information, you can tell whether you are meeting your set quality standards and where you need to improve.
Maintain Quality Control in Your Business
As you can see, quality control processes are essential in keeping your customers happy and helping you avoid unpleasant and potentially costly incidences. The good news is that maintaining quality control is something you can achieve if you set your heart on it. The tips we’ve shared in this guide can help you get started.
Would you like to learn more about quality control? Please keep visiting our blog.