Page 2: What is quality?
Quality can be described as ‘fit for purpose’. Note that quality does not necessarily equate to ‘luxury’. For example, if someone wants to hire an economical and easy-to-park car, then a model such as a Smart car would adequately meet the customer’s need so would be fit for purpose. Providing anything of a higher standard would be an unnecessary cost. Quality is linked to what the customer needs and expects. If a product meets these needs and expectations, then it can be considered a quality product.
Quality is also linked to the target market of a business. The level of quality required to be fit for purpose is different depending on the types of customers a business deals with. For example, a customer willing to pay £50 per night for a hotel room will have lower expectations than a customer willing to pay £200 per night. However, in both cases, the customer will consider whether the quality of the room is fit for purpose based on the amount they have spent.
Quality is equally relevant to a service business as to a manufacturing one. Zurich must therefore establish what its customers need and expect. It must deliver on its promise to be there when its customers need assistance, efficiently and courteously.
Meeting customer expectations
The ability to meet customer needs and expectations and deliver on its core promise determines how customers feel about the Zurich brand. To ensure that customers have a positive experience, Zurich focuses on:
- clearly identifying customer needs
- effective planning and processes
- putting in place the right resources (people and systems) for the job
- providing in-depth employee training to ensure that all staff are customer focused
- setting appropriate and achievable targets
- continuous measuring and monitoring of progress against these targets.
Zurich has developed a way of helping its employees to deliver quality consistently to customers and has called it iQUALITY. This acronym is designed to help define what quality looks like at Zurich. It reminds staff that quality is a key part of every interaction they have with customers.
Zurich recognises that quality is not a ‘one-off’ process. Its commitment to providing a world-class service requires that it continuously listens to its customers' changing needs and expectations. It puts in place the appropriate processes and people to meet these needs. Employees play a crucial role in delivering quality service. Zurich encourages its staff to:
- ‘see...the benefits of getting things right, first time, every time
- hear...what our customers want, keep our promises and deliver
- feel…empowered and add value to the business and the customer experience
- think…about how customers perceive Zurich.’