Product development is a sophisticated process that requires the most experienced teams. Right from the ideation stage, it’s important to have robust quality assurance measures in place to ensure the final product lives up to its blueprint.
However, verifying the quality of goods and services doesn’t always rest on the shoulders of the development team. Other stakeholders, such as testers and clients, may also have a key role to play.
This article discusses the seven best ways to check product quality.
- Define Quality
Quality is a score of how good something is relative to how good it should or can be. However, the term can mean different things to different people. So, it’s important to start by defining the exact parameters for checking the quality of a good or service.
Another key thing to note here is that although the term ‘quality’ is commonly contrasted with ‘quantity,’ it can encompass both.
A product’s qualitative aspects are related to its functionality and efficacy in achieving the intended target. For instance, you could invest in premium American made products because you’re assured of the safety of the materials used in designing such items.
On the other hand, the quantitative aspects of a good or service are related to production volumes and inventory turnover ratios. For instance, you can consider software top-notch quality if it racks up a certain number of downloads over a specified duration.
- Determine the Entity Whose Quality You Wish To Measure
Quality doesn’t only relate to your company’s offerings. It can also apply to aspects of your organization that impact on your brand’s appeal to customers and prospects.
Here are some of the entities whose quality you may seek to measure;
- Product quality, such as drug efficacy
- Service quality, such as customer support experience
- Software quality, such as dashboard intuitiveness
- Data quality, such as sales volume
- Process quality, such as average wait time
- Define Quality within Your Industry’s Best Practices
As an entrepreneur, you probably know what constitutes high quality. However, setting your standards is prudent, considering your industry’s best practices.
For instance, pharmaceutical regulations require drugmakers to subject their medicines to third-party laboratory analyses to verify that such products are safe and effective. Similar verification measures apply to software design, the automobile industry, dye manufacturing, and virtually all other sectors.
The need for consumer protection is the main reason to rely on your industry’s best practices while setting quality standards. Besides, dealing in products that meet or surpass the industry’s standards reflects favorably on your credibility as a manufacturer or trader.
- Designate a Team
You can designate one or multiple departments to measure the quality of your products or services. This team could be drawn from various departments in your company, such as product development, finance, and auditing.
Alternatively, you could outsource an external team, such as mystery shoppers, for more objective feedback. Be sure to train the outsourced team adequately and familiarize the members with their mission’s key objectives. Most importantly, underscore the significance of accurate reporting.
The below questions might help kick-start the product evaluation process;
- How does this product make you feel?
- Would you purchase this product again?
- Would you recommend this product to anyone?
- How would you rate our customer support?
- What are the product’s annual/monthly sales volumes vis-à-vis production output?
- Define the KPIs
A product can return an excellent score on efficacy but perform dismally in customer experience.
A flaw in one aspect doesn’t necessarily translate to overall poor quality, and neither does perfection in one area translate to great quality. That underscores the significance of defining the key performance indicators (KPIs).
Below are some of the KPIs against which you can gauge your product’s performance;
- Efficiency and performance
- Reliability and trustworthiness
- Client retention rate
- Stock turnover rate
- Bugs and malfunctions
- Safety and Security
- Customer feedback and experience
- Number of referrals
- Analyze Customer Retention Rate
Customer retention rate is a more reliable method of measuring product quality than mere sales volumes.
For instance, you might have released a product or service today, and it quickly registers impressive sales. However, you soon realize that most of your clients are first-time buyers.
During such scenarios, it may be intuitive to imagine your offerings living up to their claims. Unknown to you, the high sales volumes might have much to do with your aggressive marketing campaigns and little to do with product efficacy.
That’s why you’re better off relying on customer retention rates.
- Check Post-service Ratings and Referrals
Here’s another tip for gauging product quality. This technique is more reliable where you don’t foresee significant repeat clients.
Note that certain goods and services attract higher customer retention rates than others. Notable examples include groceries versus refrigerators.
The higher purchase frequency makes tracking your client retention rate in your grocery shop easy. But the same isn’t so easy with home appliances like refrigerators, where it may take years for the same customer to hit your stores again.
In the latter case, post-service ratings, reviews, and referrals may be key indicators of your products’ quality.
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There goes our definitive guide to checking the quality of goods and services. All things considered, remember that product quality mainly comes down to customer satisfaction. So, have that in mind while developing any product.