My second installment in the Marketing for Print series, today we discuss quality control, the effects it has on marketing and how to improve it.
What exactly is quality control?
Your products and services are measured by your customers, how they perceive you through customer service, the products, delivery and follow up. Quality control is managing people and products to provide a better than expected experience.
How does QC affect my marketing?
Marketing is the positive (or negative) positing of a company, its brand, products and services to a targeted audience. Good quality control will enhance your marketing efforts with positive reviews, content for blogs and newsletters. A good experience can lead to referrals. Bad quality control can be any or all these aspects: poor customer service can erode any aspect of product or logistics; a bad experience begins with poor service. Products that do not meet expectations disappoint customers, if they are on a tight timeframe, they become frustrated. Bad logistics are difficult to manage, but packaging properly can often protect your product from the poor handling efforts of most major logistics providers. Bad QC can lead to negative reviews on Google, Social Media and “word of mouth” from your customer.
What is a reasonable expectation of quality control success?
Exceptional quality is a moving target, especially in our world of print. Reasonable levels could be in a range of 3% to 5% in some markets, this can vary according to size of company and the number of customers served. Measure your quality issues against your production numbers to form a quality level to strive for.
What can I do, from a marketing aspect, to affect the quality of products and services?
Get familiar with your products, ask a lot of questions while your products are in production, knowledge is power. When you witness a “less than positive” product in production, bring it to the attention of the supervisor. Get to know your coworkers, friends will speak freely to friends, earning the trust from your coworker will greatly enhance your ability to make changes. With this trust, you can accurately position your brand and products effectively.
What should I do about bad online reviews?
My approach is to address them ASAP, always be short, to the point, apologetic and offer some remittance. Never engage the review with a long conversation with explanations and finger pointing. Remember, you are speaking for the company and what you put online stays online forever.
Hard times appear to come in bundles, bad experiences can happen in a span of a week or two, bringing the appearance of bad quality.
Look at the amount of issues long term vs short term,
you may be achieving your quality goals.