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The Psychology of Quality and More

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Customer

Simple description: A recipient. Someone who receives something. The output of any process goes to another process, which is the customer process. The person in that process who receives the output is the customer. When your customer gives you something, you are their customer.

Pertinent description: The person who pays your salary. The person who buys our products and services because they give them better value than other all of the other competing products and services in the modern, hyper-competitive marketplace.

Is the customer always right? No. Do they need to be treated as if they right? In our businesses, probably, or something close to this. Customers are the weak link of us producing products and services, supplying them to the customer and them giving us back payment. 

Some customers are more equal than others. In the end, we need profit, not just customers, and some customers give us more value in exchange for the value we give them. It makes sense, then, to focus our efforts more on these high-value customers. Then only dilemma that this creates is that those customers which are low-value today may be tomorrow's high-value customers, which suggests that we should invest in value delivery to them today for the promise of tomorrow.

In a competitive situation, the company which woos and wins customers most successfully wins. Like wild animals wooing a mate, we must appear most attractive and then deliver the superior goods we promise, lest they desert us for the competitor who constantly whispers in their ear about greater things.

The quality job thus means both understanding what customers want and ensuring that we, at minimum, deliver what we promise.

See also:

Voice of the Customer

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