Influential Voices: The Future of Quality

In May, Laurel Nelson-Rowe guest posted on the View from the Q blog about the Future of Quality. If you haven’t had a chance to read the report yet, you can find it here.

On topic I found to be of particular interest is the one on understanding our customers. I’ve always been one to answer surveys and provide feedback. I participate in a program where I scan my purchases for data gathering purposes. While this information is used in aggregate, the folks who get this data may feel they know me, but do they? I’ve been known to change my mind on a dime. And in today’s information overload environment, folks can get easily bored.

I used to work in retail, and I prided myself on being knowledgeable enough about our products that my customers considered me to be a subject matter expert. And, if customers had questions about related products, I knew where to send them. I asked a lot of questions, so that I could make recommendations (“vests may be too hot for the groomsmen at an outdoor wedding in the summer”) and helped them design a look that matched their vision of what their wedding would look like. Can mass customization replace a personal touch? I’m not sure.

What are your thoughts on this new era of customer understanding? What other topics in the study caught your eye?

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