The Psychology of Quality and More

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And here is the biggest question of all: 'What is Quality?' According to ISO8402:1994, Quality Assurance is:

'The totality of characteristics of an entity that bear on its ability to satisfy stated and implied needs.'

Joseph Juran defined it very succinctly as 'Fitness for use' which is very product-oriented, but also very customer-oriented, as only customers can decide whether something they receive can be used.

In these days of global hypercompetition, quality is a basic, a ticket to join the game. It is no longer a differentiator.

How do you measure quality? Simple: ask the customer. The ultimate measure is whether they will buy from you again (after all, we're here first to make a profit). If you're lucky (or excellent) they'll also recommend you to other people. You can also get more specific by finding out what the criteria customer use to measure what 

A customer's viewpoint of quality is often based on minimum delivery across the whole experience they have with interactions with the company and its products. An acronym that has been used for the whole customer/product/service lifecycle is 'COILUSD', which stands for Choosing, Ordering, Installing, Learning, Using, Supporting and Disposing. Quality of experience stretches across all of these. A bad experience in product support can lead customers to never return (in fact several surveys have shown that around 70% of customer defections are due to the human interface, not the product).

See also:

ISO9000, Quality Management System, Quality Management, Quality Assurance, Quality Control

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