Your company can’t survive without a quality product. Unless you maintain high standards and seek to improve, you’ll struggle to grow. Improving product quality can sound like a broad topic, and so, it can be difficult to start. If you’re keen to create a product quality strategy, these ten pointers will help.
Consider your definition
If you’re looking to improve the quality of your products, first you’ve got to define what product quality means to you. In most cases, product quality can be defined by how the product meets customer needs, and how it satisfies your predetermined criteria. To evaluate the quality of your service or product, focus on the following questions:
- Is your service or product specifically tailored to the target audience?
- Does your service or product solve a specific challenge/problem?
- Is this product both efficient and flawless?
- Is your product accessible and easy to work/use?
Use a QMS
To focus on product quality it’s useful to use a quality management system. So what exactly is a QMS? Essentially, a quality management system is used to document responsibilities, and processes, to achieve quality objectives and policies. The system is used to organize activities, to meet customer requirements. Using a QMS you can boost efficiency, and raise your performance ongoing. There are many benefits of using a quality management system:
- You can prevent mistakes and reduce waste.
- A great way to control and improve processes.
- Identify any training opportunities for staff.
- Identify processes which may be ineffective.
Optimize your product testing
To improve the quality of your products, it’s useful to optimize your product testing stages. When you conduct thorough product testing you’ll have the data and opportunity to correct any errors and improve the overall quality of your product.
There are a few different types of product testing approaches, including CLT and IHUT. The first method means ‘Central Location Test’. As part of this approach, customers are asked to take part in the research process, at a pre-determined and controlled location. The second method refers to the ‘In-Home Usage Test’, it means products are sent out to the customers, and the testing takes place at their homes.
Each approach has different benefits, it all depends on the type of product you sell, and what your overall goals are.
Gather & use feedback
If you’re looking to improve the quality of your products, it’s important to gather feedback and use it. Your customers will have lots of great ideas and opinions about your products, and these can help you to improve. There are so many benefits of customer feedback including:
- It’s a great way to build empathy and trust.
- Can help you to enhance the customer experience.
- Useful to make better business decisions.
Research your competitors
To boost product quality, you’ve got to do plenty of competitor research. Finding out about your competitors can help you to improve your own strategies and offerings from your products to your content and marketing. When you’re researching your competitors, these questions may be useful:
- Who are your current biggest competitors?
- How do my products/services compare to theirs?
- How would I define my competitors' unique value proposition?
- What can I/am I offering that’s different?
- Which marketing channels are my competitors focusing on?
- What do customers say about my competitors?
Work with the right suppliers
When you’re looking to improve the quality of your products, it’s important to find the right suppliers. You’ll need to ensure that your suppliers are ethical, sustainable, and supplying the best quality components and materials. Whether you’re looking for a PCB manufacturing company or a food and beverage supplier, make sure that you do your research. Working with the right third parties is how you maintain your quality output and your reputation.
Offer the right training
To provide a high-quality service, you must provide your staff with the best training. When you invest in your staff you’ll improve their performance, which has a great effect on customer satisfaction. There are lots more benefits of offering the best staff training, including:
- It’s a great way to keep your staff happy and boost morale.
- Helps you to create a future-proof company.
- Has a positive effect on your company culture.
Set quality goals
Goal setting is a great way to focus on what you’re looking to achieve, and have something to work towards. Consider specific product quality goals that you have and the metrics you’ll use to measure product quality. When you’re setting goals, it’s useful to follow the smart framework. SMART is an acronym for ‘specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.’
Monitor your performance
To ensure you’re moving in the right direction, you must monitor your performance. When you analyze your progress, it’s easier to implement continuous improvement. Using the right analytics tools you can measure product quality and customer satisfaction. No matter what kind of company you run, monitoring your performance is vital. From product quality to staff performance and marketing, you should seek to monitor quality, across several different areas.
Keep on learning
When you’re running a business, it’s important to keep on learning all of the time. Keep up with the latest practices in product development and quality. Focus on any emerging trends in quality management, and use these to drive your business forward. As a business leader you should strive to be learning all the time.
There are so many different ways to focus on product quality. When you take a tactical approach to product improvement, you’ll take your business from strength to strength. It starts with defining what a quality product looks like for you. Once you’ve figured it out, you’ll be well on your way. Using the right tools and practices, you’ll be delivering quality products that you can be proud of. Investing in product quality is the best way to stand out as a business.