A lot of start-ups still fail; the fair consistency of the findings by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), that approximately 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open since the 1990s, is a good reason to give every startup great concern. This is the very reason every startup must implement TQM.
As a management approach and framework you can use to develop and maintain sustainable levels of excellence for your startup, TQM (total quality management) will help you to elevate customer satisfaction. Your startup must do all it takes to eliminate waste and become highly efficient from the onset, and that’s why you need to ensure that all your employees get into the provision of quality services to ensure customer satisfaction by implementing TQM.
What are the basic principles your startup needs to implement TQM?
To succeed with TQM, you must follow these basic principles:
- Continuous improvement: Your startup must focus on how to continuously work on optimizing efficiency, quality, and enhancement of good customer experience.
- Organizational culture: The organizational culture of your startup must be based on TQM; this makes it easy for employees to imbibe at the onboarding stage.
- Customer-centrism: The voice of the customer has become so powerful that you can’t afford to sideline their views; listening to what the customers say and promptly addressing their pain points have become very vital to your relevance and survival. TQM enhances your ability to focus on improving the quality of your products or services.
- Data-driven decision-making: By implementing TQM, you ensure that your decisions are based on facts due to the opportunity of gathering data from customer review sites, feedback, and deploying analytics to have veritable insights into what your customers say about your products or services and those of your competitors.
- Carrying along your employees: Your employees are the moving force behind your startup; they must be involved in ensuring that customers’ pain points and feedback are addressed qualitatively.
- Effective leadership: The C-suite and others in leadership positions must have a TQM mindset; this will enhance employees buying into the project. The plans and execution must be transparent to ensure absolute dedication from employees.
- Deploying technology and metrics: TQM emphasizes using relevant metrics and deploying emerging technologies to identify problems, resolve pain points, measure progress.
- Updating employees: There is the need to ensure that your employees receive relevant training that will ensure that they are abreast with the world’s best standard practices in quality-related matters.
Benefits your startup will derive from the implementation of TQM
The first thing that positions your startup in the market is the quality of your product or service; it enhances your visibility and referrals from customers. TQM ensures you have a mindset that focuses on excellence and competitiveness, both of which are very instrumental to the success and survival of your startup.
In the face of stiff competition in the global market, you can’t afford to cut corners when talking about the quality of your product or service.
2. Employee empowerment
It’s not just enough that you have employees; you must ensure that your employees have the necessary empowerment that will enhance customer satisfaction; this may necessitate some forms of training that will equip them to handle new tools and apps you may need to meet up with emerging technologies and digital transformation trends in addition to physical technology or online technology you need upgrading. TQM embodies employee empowerment through constant updating and training.
Your employees need to know what the competition is doing; what the customers need, and the latest technological trends to ensure that your startup hits the ground running. You may have some pockets of resistance from your employees when you try to introduce changes, especially if they have to undergo training, whatever the case may be, the most important thing is to ensure that your employees are on the same page with you.
3. Fewer product defects
Generating revenue from your startup should not be your focus; what should bother you is the profit you make at the end of the day. With TQM, you can eliminate wastes and ensure that you have fewer product defects. Since your employees have gone through a series of training, the outcome will be products that are of the highest quality; mistakes and damages that occur in the course of production will be minimized.
Another thing you will gain from implementing TQM is a decreased cost of production, which is resultant from the fewer product defects you get. Your marketing team has a better chance in its marketing campaigns based on the quality of the product you are taking to the market, and this also reduces the cost of marketing campaigns.
4. Improved customer experience
What your ultimate goal must be is to satisfy your customers, and with TQM, your product quality is ensured; you have the means of gathering feedback from your customers; addressing customers’ pain points is enhanced; with the insight you have about your customers and the competition, you have every opportunity to build a very strong customer loyalty base. Your loyal customers become your brand ambassadors and going by the revelation that referrals influence 93% of consumers, you don’t only enjoy returning customers but also new customers.
Proper implementation of TQM ensures that you don’t waste revenue on ads and customer conversion. If you diligently follow all the steps of TQM, your startup will ultimately enjoy increased opportunities, market relevance, and a higher return on investments.
The competition in the global market is stiff, especially for a startup, but TQM may be the magic wand you need to survive and become relevant in the market.