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Total quality management and customer satisfaction have a direct connection because a company uses the former to establish a positive relationship with its customers. Rather than sell a large volume of low-quality goods, total quality management attempts to increase product quality to enhance the consumer relationship. In some cases, a customer focus is central to the total quality management constructs. Consumers often have different needs in terms of satisfaction. Companies need management tools that meet as many consumer needs as possible while reaching as many consumers as possible.
In business, it is typically harder to win over new clients rather than maintain satisfaction with current ones. Failing to get goods or services right the first time can damage a company’s consumer relationships for a long time. Continuous poor business operations will eventually lead to consumer dissatisfaction and a bad reputation among customers. Excessive growth can also lead to this scenario. Companies that cannot maintain both total quality management and customer satisfaction during growth will drive customers away from its business.
Customers typically have requirements and perceived quality expectations. Requirements are typically different based on product type and value. For example, a consumer may desire a computer that has specific hardware requirements for completing specific tasks. These requirements represent the base need for the computer. Perceived quality expectations may be the belief that one computer brand is better than another for whatever reasons a consumer has in regards to the technology.
Successful companies often have an extreme focus on customer satisfaction. Total quality management and customer satisfaction start with doing things right the first time. Rather than using quality control inspections to look for problems after creating products, total quality management starts at the beginning of the process. For example, rather than looking at poorly constructed computers, companies will stat by using the highest quality parts for the item. Each production step will have this sense of quality as part of its process.
As consumer requirements and needs change over time, so will a company’s products and manufacturing processes. Companies must have keen market sense in order to listen to consumers and make quality changes that meet either new consumer requirements or perceived expectations. Offering high-quality goods and services can also set an industry standard, making a company the leader in consumer perceptions. Total quality management and customer satisfaction often include specific steps that allow for feedback from customers to make recommendations to the business.