Improve Your Business without Spending a Dime through Quality and Customer Service

BY: ON TUESDAY, JULY 12, 2011

Most people would absolutely jump for a free product that made and saved them money. Sound too good to be true? Though in most cases it probably is too good to be true, for small business owners, improving the quality of products, structure and making a concerted commitment to improving customer service represent aspects of business that every company needs to focus on. Best of all, the end result is profits at no cost other than your time.

We’ve all heard the saying that the customer is always right. It sounds cliché, but it’s often the truth at the end of the day. Business is a two way street, and it takes customers to make your passion an endeavor that actually makes money.

Your business was your idea; you spent tireless hours getting it off the ground, and your instincts for dedication towards it can rival those of parenthood. However, for your business to flourish a critical philosophical change needs to occur – you have to focus on what your customers want from your business, and not what you want for your business.

Your business can’t only be about you. You can’t run your business like a personal money machine; you must view it as a service for the customer, and you are simply the caretaker. You have to listen to what your customers want, and give it to them. After all, how else would you be able to profit?

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as asking the customer what they want and giving it to them. So many companies, big and small, spend massive amounts of time, money and energy on R&D – using polls, surveys and focus groups – only to deliver a product that tanks.

If your small business provides services to clients, make sure that your process for collecting their requirements yields accurate results in the end. If your business provides goods, it’s not only critical to listen to customer suggestions, complaints and results, but to also analyze sales numbers and tweak your approach accordingly.

Perhaps the most obvious way to keep customers happy is to provide quality products and services. However, much more goes into actually providing quality and improving quality across your business than you may think.

Improving the quality of your business is a complex process that scrutinizes every aspect of your business from the bottom up. Every action from the supplies you choose to the employees you hire are all under scrutiny. How you manage these inputs, and how efficiently you convert them into outputs determines the quality that your business provides for customers. 

All business owners should regularly assess their relationships with suppliers, and also  assess their costs in order to improve the efficiency of their businesses.

For example, the costs of transportation, communication, transactions, and the overall reliability of a supplier need to be taken into account when selecting one supplier over another. Sometimes one option costs more on paper, but ends up being more affordable in the long run by being more dependable and flexible.

The cost of quality does not only mean how much it takes to make your product. How many returns do you average per sale? How many defective products show up per batch manufactured? If you had a specific machine or piece of software, could you eliminate an employee or service provider? Can you provide professional management training to make an employee more knowledgeable and effective?

Prevention, inspection, failure, improvement training – all these aspects are part of your costs equation. If you can find a way to improve these needs without hurting your business elsewhere, you effectively lower costs while still improving quality.

Quality and customer service are two golden tickets to success. If you can make your business engine run as efficiently as possible, while keeping your customers satisfied and coming back, you will greatly improve your chances of having a stable and thriving business without having to spend big bucks to get there.


About the Author

Javi Calderon
Javi Calderon is a freelance writer, copywriter and journalist with interests in music, sports, small business marketing, and technology.
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