Your PRODUCT should be the best. How can it be the best?
Imagine a scenario where the
product at the outset was a creation of ones thoughts, ambitions and
dreams. It was your baby. It was your invention. To you this was great.
Having prided on your creation you introduce it in the market. You now
have buyers who will try out your product. From those buyers who tried,
there are some that liked it and some that did not. Let's look at the
ones who did not like it. From this lot there are a few who on their own
give suggestions or complain. There are others who need to be probed.
We will deal with the probing kind later. We now have the lot that liked
it and some that will like it subject to certain changes. The ones who
have given suggestions have told you what needs to be done to make it
suit their requirements. They are giving you advice. They are helping
you. The message is written large on the wall. All you have to do is
read it, understand and work on it. Presume you improvise and put your
product back in the market. You will now have more than some that liked
your product. If suggestions and feedback can help you improve your
product and build a customer base, then it is time to look up those
customers who have been non suggestive and quite. If probed, their
feedback will help us improve further. Survey and market research maybe
your answer to elicit more suggestions. This in turn is going to help us
improve our product, evolve and maybe diversify. We are in the process
where our product is now trying to match customer expectations. We are
on the road to be a QUALITY PRODUCT.
Suppose you go to buy a
car that you know is good in all respects and fits your requirements.
To top it, it has an attractive price tag. Unfortunately you do not get
the expected response from the staff. While you still want to buy the
car what would be your impression about the company.
Having worked towards a quality product, can it sell itself?
This can be answered with two basic facts.
- A product cannot sell itself.
- The end user of your product is people.
Since the end users are people
in the garb of customers you need GOOD PEOPLE in the garb of employees
to service these customers efficiently such that they are not only happy
with your product but would love to deal with the company as well. Your
product now needs a face. It requires the human touch. You need
employees to introduce the product to the customer. You need employees
who love to deal with customers - Employees who can understand customer
requirements. Employees who have the art of helping customers buy rather
than sell to them - Employees who can be friendly to customer -
Employees who can smile on the phone - Employees who can get the job
done yesterday - Employees with commitment - Employees who are focused.
Employees who can make a customer feel comfortable while dealing with
our organisation. - Employees who can make the customer come back for
more - Employees who can network through the customer. Phew! I think you
got the point.
You can develop a quality
product but without a good set of employees it would not be possible to
successfully reach it to the customers. All your employees, be it front
line, back-up office, after sales, accounts, technical, reception etc
need to have customer focus such that your customer would experience the
same quality of service at all times and in all areas of his dealings
with your office. He should without a second thought come to your office
for his requirement. He should be proud of his relationship with your
organisation. He should direct others to your office. This should be an
ongoing exercise that ensures growth in customers and business. All this
has to be done by the people of the company, top to bottom with no
exception. There has to be a uniform and positive approach to the
customer. If you can reach this state of customer consciousness you then
possess a team of QUALITY PEOPLE.
You are the only one
selling this branded industrial tool and have a great sales force to
look after the customers. Studying the market condition you set a price
that is 25% more than the competing brands. Would you still buy the
Yes, if you do not have a choice.
No, if you have the time to wait and get it from the next town at a better price.
No, if you can compromise with the competing brand.
PRICE should be just about right
for the customer to afford. It should be such that he experiences value
for his money. We should ensure that he does not feel short changed or
pinched in the bargain. We also need to keep in mind the market
conditions. We must know at what price the competition is offering the
same product. We need to equate value in terms of returns. We need to
study demand/supply. By the way let's not forget our profit. (That's what
the business is all about). We need profit for the organisation. We
have salaries and rent to be paid beyond various other overheads. We
need to grow and diversify. All this requires capital. We need profit to
run the business.
Keeping all this in mind price
should be poised such that is affordable to the organisation and the
consumer. Irrespective of the product, exclusivity, proximity and other
buying trends do not overcharge under any circumstances. If the customer
loves your product price should be set that is within his reach. You do
not give him an opportunity to come with excuses not to buy. On the
contrary he does not have a choice but, to buy. You must ensure that you
have the best PRICE in the market.
While price plays an important
role in the consumer's decision to buy a product, it is more important
that the product be good and the people driving the product be
excellent. Also while price and product could have limitations, there
are no limitations in the manner your employees sell it or service the
customer. After all customer service is an art that can only be
performed by people.
To conclude, for something to spell QUALITY it requires the right proportion of
GOOD (PRODUCT + PEOPLE + PRICE)
Q = G(P+P+P)