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What exactly is Quality all about?

  • 06/09/2011
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  • Posted by EuroSTAR
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This morning, I had been to my bank’s ATM (Automated Teller Machine) to withdraw some cash.

I never knew that I would experience a wide variety of emotions in ten minutes.

As soon as I swiped my ATM card, a message appeared:
“This machine is temporarily out of service. Sorry for the inconvenience. Please try one of our ATMs”

I was angry and surprised. Angry because the message appeared after I swiped the card. It could have been displayed all the time on the machine.

I was surprised as the customer before me was successful in withdrawing money. What made the ATM go out of order just on my turn?

Well, I reported this issue to the security at the ATM and his answer was simple: “Please try again. It would work” And no wonder, it worked! The message disappeared and I was able to withdraw some cash.

Ok, what made me write this post? The buzzword Quality came to my mind when I came out of the ATM. What poor quality – poor customer service – why was there no board at the entrance? These questions popped up in my mind when the ATM ceased to work.

Immediately once it started working, I was amazed by the good quality experience I had.

Happy Customer: As soon as I entered the password, I was not expected to press the Enter key. As the password was correct, the next screen was displayed.

When it was time to collect the cash and the transaction summary, the appropriate slots blinked. Every click on the keypad made a click sound. I was very pleased with what I saw & experienced.

Imagine how helpful it is for someone who doesn’t understand the language or the instructions. Fortunately or unfortunately, there is no one standard ATM. Each ATM is unique in terms of the workflow, the sounds, the slots, the amount to dispense (in multiples of 100, 500), the time taken to dispense the cash & the transaction summary.

Is this what is called ‘Delighting the Customer’? In fact, I enjoyed the experience of withdrawing cash. See how quickly my experience changed. I don’t care which process is used in the company, which standards are followed. As a customer, I am more interested in the experience.

Can we pursue quality? Isn’t this a process of running behind the unknown? Can we define customer experience? Can we define Quality? Can we define Love? It has to be felt!

Quality is what the customer feels. Quality is what the customer experiences. I felt the ATM understood my expectations and went a step ahead and delighted me.

What do you feel? Do you know how to delight customers? Let me know :)

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