What is Quality Management?
Also known as total quality management (TQM), quality management is the process of overseeing all the tasks, functions, and activities that companies must accomplish to consistently maintain a certain level of excellence. Quality management extends to all the products and services that a company offers, including customer service, and it encompasses four main components:
1. Quality Planning
During quality planning, companies determine relevant quality standards and create a plan to meet them.
2. Quality Improvement
Quality improvement involves changing procedures to improve the consistency of the resulting product or service.
3. Quality Control
Quality control is the ongoing practice of maintaining an activity’s ability to achieve the desired outcome.
4. Quality Assurance
Finally, quality assurance includes the systematic activities organizations use to maintain consistent quality. Well-structured quality assurance plans ensure that a product or service meets the quality standards determined during quality planning.
How Does Quality Management Impact Customer Service?
Quality management impacts consumer support in several ways, including:
1. Improved Satisfaction
Consistent, reliable, high-quality support leads to higher customer satisfaction rates, boosted brand loyalty, and increased consumer engagement. However, excellent care doesn’t happen by accident.
Businesses can use the quality management process to improve department efficiency and define the organization’s approach to client support, resulting in happier shoppers and productive agents.
2. Enhanced Monitoring
A quality management system allows businesses to monitor and document all consumer communications. They can take advantage of real-time feedback through buyer comments and messages, quickly identify potential issues, and improve internal procedures.
3. Streamlined Support Processes
Finally, a solid quality management plan allows companies to ensure that their agents are adequately trained and are working toward a common goal. Quality management systems also document changes in support processes. Then, the systems automatically create a training event to ensure that all representatives are on the same page, resulting in consistent, cohesive client services.
What Is a Quality Management System?
A quality management system (QMS) is a structured system that organizational leadership uses to document the internal procedures, processes, and policies needed to meet internal quality standards. A QMS simplifies the quality management process and helps businesses exceed consumer expectations, regulatory requirements, and compliance standards.
ISO 9001 is currently the most commonly used international standard for QMS. The guidelines, created by the International Organization for Standardization, ensure that quality management systems comply with specific regulations.
Key Elements of a QMS
To empower organizations to achieve their goals, quality management systems should include elements such as:
A quality manual
Organization instructions, records, and procedures
Company quality policy and objectives
Data management processes.
Product satisfaction reports
What Are the Benefits of Quality Management Systems?
Quality management systems allow businesses to transform a quality management plan into repeatable, reliable processes. With this in mind, two of the main advantages of a QMS include:
1. Improved Consistency
Following the systems development and implementation process, a QMS helps companies reach greater consistency when performing the functions involved in production or service provision.
The enhanced documentation and streamlined processes pass seamlessly between existing and new employees, ensuring that companies never experience lags in production or sudden drops in quality.
2. Increased Efficiency
The quality management concept extends beyond consistently excellent products or services. QMS systems address waste, bottlenecks in production processes, time management issues, and other critical internal problems.
Leadership can then review the reports, audit the data, and educate employees on new procedures and processes, resulting in reduced waste, improved efficiency, and enhanced scalability.
Why Businesses Choose Quality Management Systems
Virtually every business can benefit from a quality management system (QMS). A QMS helps organizations streamline and scale every part of their business, from sales and manufacturing assembly lines to customer service and product development.
International standards, such as ISO 9001, ensure that quality management systems comply with regulatory requirements and industry compliance guidelines. Following implementation, businesses can use a QMS to achieve internal quality goals and exceed external expectations.