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Business quality should not be skin deep

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Recently I had the privilege of visiting a notable local establishment. The décor was spectacular. It rests in a prime location, overlooking the pristine clear waters of the Grenadine Islands. The atmosphere was comfortable and relaxing and the service was excellent. I thought to myself, this place begs for multiple visits. The longer I stayed the less I wanted to leave, until I began purchasing the products. My experience fell from the peak of Everest to depths of the Grand Canyon. I realised that the products that were presented were beautifully packaged rubbish, disguised as luxury.

It is of no consequence, playing dress up with a product that is sub-par. Putting lipstick on a pig does not change its identity. When will our business owners stop insulting the customers’ intelligence and begin to ensure that they present a beautiful product inside and out? The idea of not judging the book by its cover should not be carried forward in the business establishment and the product offerings. Customers develop a level of expectation from the way a business portrays itself. The backlash a business will receive when customers perceive quality and are served rubbish is far worse than if customers had low expectations and were pleasantly surprised. It may be forgivable if the business has fallen short of providing the best packaging for an excellent product; at least, the customers would be satisfied that they were given their money’s worth. However, the opposite does not hold true.

A failure to assure customers that your products are quality threatens customer loyalty, future sales, and the long term sustainability of your business. In these uncertain times in which we live, customers are becoming more prudent in their expenditure. Consequently, the quality of the products and services on offer carries the most weight, when customers are deciding whether or not to patronise your business. The level of competition is high among local businesses as they are all competing for the attention of much of the same customers. For this reason, each business must be able to identify what sets it apart from its competitors. Moreover, as customer service continues to receive more attention in some businesses, the quality of your products may be your business’ distinguishing feature. Therefore, Mr Manager it is time to wise up, lest it be said that the beauty of your business is only skin deep.

Dr. Wendyann Richardson is a Management Consultant who specializes in corporate governance, business operations management and refining of skills through training. She can be reached at [email protected]

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