Influential Voices: Talking Quality at Ford

I’ll preface this post with a little explanation on the header: I’m planning to start blogging more often, so I’m going to include information in the subject line that makes my posts easier to identify.

Last month at WCQI, Paul Borowski interviewed Bernie Fowler, the VP of Quality and New Model Launch at Ford and wrote about it on his blog. Unfortunately I’m not able to watch the video, but something that struck me in Paul’s comments was the statement, “quality must focus on more than product—it must focus on the entire customer experience.” Having recently completed a marketing class, I can’t help but notice the similarity between Bernie’s comment on what quality is today and the definition of marketing.

I’ve seen this highlighted in determining where to send my kids for gymnastics lessons. The spotty quality of coaching is one thing (the product), but when I combine that with a director who plays favorites with kids, coaches and parents (the experience), moving the kids to a club further away from home was actually an easy choice.

In my own work, my company sells not just a product, but also services, and our teams develop  close working relationships with their customers. In a previous role, I had a customer frustrated with working with someone at a supplier, and worked with the supplier to fix the issue, which in turn improved our customer’s experience. We all have the ability to impact our customers, whether they are internal or external by focusing on the experience. How do you impact the experience of your customers?