Business owners know delivering high-quality products to their customers is key to building customer loyalty and repeat sales. One key part of delivery is having a quality control program in place to ensure your finished project is up to your standards and the customer’s. However, quality control programs aren’t just about the QC process; using one can increase your revenue over the long term, and that’s a benefit that’s hard to ignore.
When Quality Fails, It Affects Future Business
Let’s face it, poor quality products equal a poor customer experience. While it can sometimes be hard for customers to identify poor quality in the beginning, a poor result will eventually affect your business. Word-of-mouth recommendations still account for a large percentage of business referrals, and like gossip, bad ones travel faster than good ones, and bad reviews can really hurt your online presence as well.
What many business owners don’t realize is that poor-quality products also cost you more money in the long run. For example, if you have a project that goes wrong in the middle of the process because an employee didn’t follow a quality control process early in the project, you’ve just lost time and expenses due to one mistake. You may also need to bring in a more experienced employee to fix the problem. Taking steps early in the construction process to prevent problems from arising later will save you money, not to mention future headaches.
How Does Quality Control Increase Revenue?
Quality is also more than just about the end result; it includes the customer experience, from inquiry to final walk-through. A product may have high-quality materials and construction, but if it doesn’t meet your customers’ needs and falls within their expected budget and timeline, then they won’t be happy with their purchase. A quality control program will generate more revenue by:
- Reducing construction errors. Following a formalized process ensures your employees don’t skip steps or take shortcuts. It also protects them, and you, from costly errors.
- Reducing your liability risks. This can reduce your insurance and also drive sales.
- Increasing customer referrals. When customers are satisfied with the final product and the entire process, they’re more likely to refer your business to others.
- Protecting your employees. A QC program decreases the risk of accidents by ensuring everyone is following safety protocols and quality control measures every step of the way.
The best way to ensure that both your products and customers’ experiences are up to par? Implementing a quality control program!
How to create a good quality control program
Developing a good quality control program may sound tough, but it’s actually just adding a few steps to the process you’re already using. You may already be practicing quality control informally, and simply need to take a few steps to formalize the process.
- Record the measures you take from start to finish to ensure the product is high quality, and the customer service is as well.
- Designate which employees are responsible for which measures. Will you have one quality control person check on every step, or will you designate certain steps for certain employees?
- Train employees on quality control measures within the scope of their jobs. Customer service employees will have different measures than job site managers, etc.
- Create a quality control checklist to use with employees and share with customers. This will reassure them you’re taking every precaution to create a high-quality product.
- Don’t forget to evaluate your process and look for ways to improve your quality control.
While it’s important to tailor your quality control measures to your business, you can find templates online to get started. Projectmanagementdocs.com offers free templates for quality control measures as well as other project templates to track progress.
Iowa State University and the National Concrete Pavement Technology Center created a thorough guide on quality control for concrete titled: Quality Control For Concrete Paving: A Tool For Agency and Industry. While you may not want to read through all 170 pages, they offer suggestions for tools for quality control in Chapter 6, and how to create a quality control outline and plan in Appendices C and D.
Quality control programs are one of the best investments you can make in your company. They protect you and your employees from accidents and lower-quality products, they increase customer satisfaction, and ultimately, they increase revenue through satisfied customers.