Image description: Preview of infographic poster exploring how quality management helps create customer value.
Every year we also focus on a different theme to highlight the wide-reaching impact of our profession. In 2020 World Quality Day centred on creating customer value, which prompted discussions and discovery across business. What does customer value mean? How do companies understand and meet customer needs? What role does quality management play in creating customer value?
CQI members and quality professionals used World Quality Day to celebrate individuals, teams and organisations, not only creating but improving customer value.
Supporting a quality culture
The quality profession is at the heart of business, helping to develop a customer culture that places an emphasis on:
Customer needs – quality is defined by the customer not the company. Businesses that recognise this are able to grow and innovate much more easily
Product and service quality – collaborating with customers to improve the quality of products and services and resolve issues is a recipe for success. This also needs to be backed by a strong quality management system
Customer loyalty and confidence - in the value businesses can deliver is one of the biggest results of a quality culture
Customer-centricity – this feeds business resilience and means that organisations not only survive in challenging times, but are able to adapt and grow
Engaging others in creating value
Quality professionals and their colleagues considered these talking points in events and activities on creating customer value. Examples included:
Pro Bono workshops to educate local business communities on quality issues
Brainstorming sessions and interactive virtual events with internal and external stakeholders
Training programmes on how to improve workplace quality and customer satisfaction
World Quality Day quizzes and competitions
ISO standards and customer value
Karolina Lachi Kolarova, Business Unit Director for Bureau Veritas Group, told us how her organisation was marketing World Quality Day. “We are encouraging businesses to consider the importance of quality management amid recent research detailing how the coronavirus pandemic is rewiring customer demands. Being certified against ISO 9001:2015 is a great way to demonstrate customer value, improving the reliability of business operations at a time when these are increasingly disrupted by the pandemic.”
Indeed, implementing a quality management system certified to a best practice international standard has several benefits. These range from providing reassurance that your products and services meet customer and regulatory requirements to increasing your business resilience.
Individuals and organisations shared stories on what customer value means for them. They also noted how quality professionals help to deliver consistent stakeholder value and how that value sits at the core of the quality management practice.
For CQI volunteer Mark Eydman, CQP MCQI, Founder and Lead Consultant at Six Pillars Consulting UK, quality is about: “making organisations perform for their stakeholders, and for most organisations, customers will be the most important of those stakeholders”.
We collaborate with customers to find new solutions to address their emerging challenges.
Derek Geyer CQP MCQI, Quality Lead at Balfour Beatty Kilpatrick, told us that his organisation engaged with the World Quality Day theme based on ‘No forward error’. This involved making a pledge of excellence to customers. Derek added: “My commitment to ‘No forward error’ is to ensure that any issues are identified and resolved, so that they’re not being handed back to our customers or become a legacy issue for our organisation.”
And on World Quality Day 2020, Rami Qasem, Executive Vice President at Baker Hughes Digital Solutions, shared a pertinent LinkedIn post. His organisation delivers quality to their customers in two ways: “We anticipate market needs by innovating and upgrading our equipment, software, services and processes, and we collaborate with customers to find new solutions to address their emerging challenges”.