What Is Quality?

Very often we talk about a quality bowling experience, we talk about high touch points, high tech points and “always going the extra mile” to make sure customers leave our bowling center with happy memories


Every now and then I like to stop and see if we are truly delivering a happy memory so I ask our staff or a client’s staff: “what kind of quality does the customer want?”


I usually get answers like
  1. “They perceive us as a good value for the money.”
  2. “They had a good time and their time was well spent; they have no regrets.”
  3. “They forgot about their troubles for a while.”
  4. “The center was neat and clean and everybody smiled and if they had a problem, someone was there to take care of it.”
  5. “We didn’t say ‘NO’ all day to any customer.”
  6. “As people were leaving, I said, “Come back and see us soon”, they said ‘we sure will’ and I think they meant it.”
  7. “One lady commented on how clean our bathrooms smelled and another man told me that his son really enjoys his summer league program and will probably bowl in the fall.”

Gee I thought, these are real great comments, but what if we got it wrong? 

Maybe quality was just a clean bowling center, cheap prices, ok food and the fact that nobody at the center gave them a hard time.  What if that’s ALL they wanted and we weren’t delivering that

Has anyone ever asked how the customer defines “a quality bowling experience?”

You can try to get the answer by administering a simple open ended questionnaire or list a bunch of variables and have them score it from 5 to 1 with 5 being the most important and 1 being the least important.

But candidly, I think quality is more of an emotion than a rationale fact, do you?

If you have would you share those answers with us…’cause, who knows, we may have been interpreting it wrong…and all we have to go on is what WE think, not what the customers think.”

“Aw Fred, that’ just common sense.  You have gone overboard on this one. 

Maybe, but please read the next paragraph

When Kodak filed bankruptcy, their mission statement was to deliver THEIR idea of customer quality as follows:

“Kodak will deliver the highest most professional quality images to the average consumer.”

That is, give the typical shutter-bug consumer the same quality picture that a professional photographer wants.  And they never changed…until it was too late.  Way too late.

Kodak just got it wrong

What the customer really wanted was cheap film, eventually NO film, easy to use and eventually pictures that could be shared with anybody they wanted to and NOT museum quality prints.

And as one marketing executive (Seth Godin) said at a recent conference I attended:

Quality is not an absolute measure.  It doesn’t mean ‘deluxe’ or ‘perfection’. It means keeping the promise the customer wants you to make.

About Fred Kaplowitz
Marketing is in my DNA. I love to solve problems and meet challenges head on and I have successfully produced results for hundreds of clients. I love what I do and love helping to make my clients more successful and happier. I am a husband and father, consultant, a coach, a teacher, a motivator, a copy- writer, and a speaker. I look forward to working with anyone searching for a proven methodology out of mediocrity. May I assist you in taking your business to the next level. Please call me now @ 516 359 4874 to review your business goals and strategies.

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