I am going to make this a short article. Because any truth that is too long and complex is suspiciously hiding something.
A recent Wall street journal article At Ford, Quality Is Now Problem 1 described the major fall for a company that for two decades declared Quality Job #1. The new leader for quality improvement Josh Halliburton explained the situation he inherited in a very simple way:
“It wasn’t a top priority,” he said. “Everyone wants to make sure they can hit the targets we are aiming to achieve. If the goal was to launch on time, we were often focused on getting to launch versus prioritizing quality.”
When quality becomes secondary to other goals, quality suffers. This is true for any other objective.
When the customer (and the customer experience) becomes secondary to other objectives, it will fail.
And when you think you can get away with this approach, let Ford become our lesson with 6.82 million cars affected by recalls vs 1.42 million from GM.
One last time, there is no substitute to placing the customer first in priority.
The main challenge for CX professionals is to ensure that they are priority one.
They usually are not when people in their organization believe that there is a way to make their numbers while ignoring what is right for the customers. Ford applied that logic to quality, and we now see the results. “Really, what were they thinking?,” you are probably saying. But how many times did you see compromising decisions made in your company taking the customer for granted.
When it comes to priorities, it seems as we apply the short patience rule, there is only one priority. This is a business of either number one or nothing.