The concept of Quality
For some time I have been able to perceive as the concept of quality It is misinterpreted or applied in some organizations and, therefore, what was believed to have a high impact on economic and financial results, based on the contributions made to the product and that exceeded the expectations of customers and the general public, it has been quite the opposite and rather has led to high incursions costs.
For this reason, and knowing that this is a theme Delicate, approached quite frequently in different spaces and constantly reformulated, I risk expressing some ideas that, in my opinion, will be able to clarify those false concepts or myths and will allow you, dear reader, to identify when to set limits.
El also information Today, with many means at their disposal to be able to experience sensorially new experiences, they have generated changes in services, to which, not all of us are able to respond adequately, and we assume that by enriching the offers or adding new values to them, we solve the problem. and here is the first and only dilemma: when, how, for whom and what to change.
The renewal of offers, equipment, personnel (through training) is in itself a necessity for every organization to be able to stay competitive, and of course, any change that is generated within the restaurant is due to the fact that quality, famous quality that we talk so much about, it is multiplied, but my message goes to those who want to contribute more than what is expected and magnify the concept of quality by Superquality.
I will offer my personal concept, seen from two angles:
The first is that some conceive it as the way to offer products with many values not expected by the client and desired or aspired to by them, which put the organization at an advantage over the competition and enables them to be able to impose prices that will be accepted. and, consequently, obtain planned benefits from the customer's supersatisfaction.
The second is that some see it as the addition of attributes to the product that are not necessarily expected by the customer, but are not desired either and to which they impose prices that make customers feel cheated and although benefits are obtained, far from satisfying they cause the dissatisfaction and with it the loss of them.
Now that I have expressed myself, I present the definition of Christian Grönroos in his book “Marketing y Efficient de Servicios ”published in the mid-90s.
[epq-quote align = "align-center"] Superquality is not having better quality ... it is wasting the company's resources and, worse still, discouraging shareholders from continuing to work in quality, fostering the false belief that " quality is expensive "[/ epq-quote].
And it raises four aspects or meters that define quality:
If the quality experienced is lower than expected, the customer is in a situation of "negatively confirmed quality" (poor quality)
- If the experienced quality and the expected quality are the same, we are in a "confirmed quality" (acceptable quality) situation.
- If the experienced quality is higher than the expected quality, a situation of "positively confirmed quality" (good quality) is reached,
- If the experienced quality far exceeds the expected quality, a situation of "super quality" is reached.
And it raises again that super quality is nothing more than a level of quality that is too good to be justifiable, and that is very true, but where it lies, truly the big problem is that sometimes the level in products or services based on managers' appreciation and not the coherent and symmetrical study of the needs and expectations of customers, and consequently, they perceive such excesses and associate them with the price of the product and / or service, leading this interpretation to reactions such as:
El client accepts the price and continues the tradition of consumption. This type of customer is a customer who is willing to pay any price to receive the service in this restaurant. Generally, there are not many clients of this type or restaurants that today they can afford that luxury, but they exist because they have created a prestigious brand and because when these changes occur, the client sees them as a renewal.
El client does not accept the price but continues with its consumption pattern, not considering the offer that implies it. They are generally customers who come to the restaurant to satisfy their biological need, generally students and workers, who are not willing to pay the new price of the product, so they redirect their orders towards other offers that are within the limits of their budget, maintaining the rest of the attitudes with the restaurant.
El client assumes the new price but establishes new consumption patterns, mainly those associated with time and quantity. This type of customer is what they remain loyal to the restaurant, they accept the price imposed by the organization, but given their ability to pay, they are forced to restructure their visiting and consumption hours.
El client does not accept the price and changes restaurants. This is the type of customer that associates the restaurant for the price of the offers, and when a change occurs, they are unable to assimilate it, because there is no loyalty.
It seems quite a tongue twister, but certainly if we look at the above we can infer that in the first three levels the restaurant has a loyal clientele that may or may not be satisfied but values other qualities of the restaurant, which must be meticulously analyzed and preserved or what On the contrary, in the short term they could move this group of clients to the fourth level and begin a process of commercial deterioration.
Personally, following my instincts and to be reproductive of the definition that Grönroos offers us, I rely on a very personal representation of the above in a matrix that I have called Matrix of Perceptions, because in it, as its name implies, the clients' perceptions about what they want and how they perceive what is offered to them, but unlike the teacher, I include an intermediate level, where expectations and experience on three levels: high, medium, low.
I clarify that these classification levels that I establish, stem from something that I have commented in those articles where I expose the various quantitative methods, fundamentally those that address the logistics theme, and that are associated with how the restaurant offers, how it delivers it and how it perceives it the customer, which facilitates the calculation of the level of service taking into account various variables that are chosen by the restaurant.
MATRIX OF CUSTOMERS 'PERCEPTIONS
If you look at the previous matrix, you will see that, regardless of the level of expectations, the organization may be able to offer, according to the customer's perceptions, high quality levels or very low levels; therefore the above allows me to confirm the theory that the definition of quality by customers tends to be subjective, note that when perceptions and expectations are low the concept of quality is good, according to Grönroos criteriaHowever, the organization itself may denote this issue as an inability to adequately distribute resources and deploy its capabilities based on customers.
Likewise, the restaurant is in a position to be able, once the different levels of expectations and perceptions have been determined, its market segments and to establish actions for each one of them, always taking as a premise that it should not be based on the habits and customs of the customers They can be changed, but they are the ones who promote change, and it is there where the organization can adjust its past, taking into account the experiences of the present and visioning the future.
In the restaurant
A classic example of the impact for organization of the supposed criterion of Superquality comes to be the following case, which is based on the experience acquired while teaching the subject Administrator Strategic to a group of Accounting and Finance students.
One of the contents to be addressed was how to create value for customers and how for the company, and very wisely, the group of authors of the literature that was available to study it included a case study that spectacularly exemplified what previous. I am going to try a little to adapt it to gastronomic activity, so that the essence of the message that you want to convey is understood.
A pizzeria offers menus for children, serving the content of the offer on red polyethylene dishes, combined with drawings of various fruits. It turns out that the parents of the children have suggested that, regardless of whether the offers were accepted by their children, they should be served in another type of container, and this was justified by the fact that the color and the drawings attracted the children's attention, many of them chewed them and even swallowed causing stomach disorders.
La administration from the premises he took on the task of making the necessary changes and for this he decided to design a base for the offer that was edible, and for this he designed a dish based on puff pastry, thus, according to the criteria of the experts of the Instead, parents should not worry about whether or not the children ate the dishes, as it would not harm them.
Also the administration, in his concept of quality, defined that this was a super product and therefore they were offering a super quality dish and decided to increase its price, because according to sales studies it was a highly popular dish and they would pay for it.
So ask yourself, dear reader, the following questions:
- Was this type of change what the client asked for?
- Would you be willing to pay the new price?
If we analyze the above, we can see that there was a manifest need for a market segment (that of parents) who, satisfied with the offer, were concerned about the impact that the container where food was served could have on their children.
Since it is known administratorThe organization saw an opportunity to keep these types of clients and also to increase their profits. To do this, he develops a proposal that from his perspective would respond to that need and develops it, but focusing said solution on economic activity fundamentally and not on the customer sector, imposing a higher price than they were accustomed to paying these, so the income decreases and customers are lost.
Moral: the solution is not in giving the best-believed answer, but in knowing how to respond to what the customer needs and in this case it was something as simple as changing the polyethylene plate for a plastic or ceramic one.
Dear administrator, here I leave my recommendations. Do not take them at face value, just value and decide, because it is you who knows the most about your business and your clients, I only propose the path to travel:
- Take into account the opinion of your customers, but also take into account that of your workers and combine them both, this will allow you to take important strategic.
- Don't pretend to believe that increasing values to your offers will always have a positive effect on customers. Sometimes they see those changes as the justification for charging them more for something they haven't asked for and react to.
- Estimate the quality. Prioritize giving your best with what you have and not giving more than you can.
In short, it is a complex issue as I said at the beginning, but controversial, debatable, so I say goodbye this time reminding you that you are the decision maker, if you are wrong you will know how to remedy it, if you succeed, you will know where to look.