Quality Results and Transparency

Today I’m reflecting on ASQ’s Global State of Quality research, as I have many times in the past month.  As I wrote before, the Global State of Quality is a massive research project that surveyed 1,991 organizations in 22 countries on how they practice quality. You can see the research on the Global State of Quality site.

Let me refer you to page 27.

We speak a lot about customer service and transparency, which is why this metric from The Global State of Quality caught my eye: 68% of organizations share quality metrics with customers. Specifically, 27% strongly agreed and 41% somewhat agreed with this statement: Information on our product or service quality performance is shared with customers.

Have you ever bought a car without seeking quality information about it—either from the manufacturer or elsewhere? How about electronics or home appliances? I know I haven’t.  I often get my knowledge from customer ratings, but how about from the company directly? Would I trust the data companies provide?

I do find it encouraging that more than half of respondents communicate with customers and seek to understand product performance through their eyes (also on page 27). And a bit more than half agree that the customer is the only person qualified to specify what “quality” means—an oft-debated concept in the quality community.  What does the other half think?

Influential Voices blogger John Priebe  blogged about releasing quality metrics to the public. He’s strongly in favor of it—it’s a matter of transparency. Are you? Why or why not?

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