Given the importance of quality to almost all businesses, it is important that quality is measured. There are many ways to do this.
Businesses can measure quality aspects such as:
- Failure or reject rates
- Level of product returns
- Customer complaints
- Customer satisfaction – usually measured by a survey
- Customer loyalty – evident from repeat purchases, or renewal rates
However, it is important to remember that:
- Quality is subjective, it is a matter of personal opinion and what constitutes an acceptable level of quality will vary from one individual to another
- Not all aspects of quality are tangible – for example the degree of assurance given by a firm's name or reputation can be very important even though it is hard to measure.
- Quality is always evolving because of things like improved technology, better materials, new manufacturing techniques and fresh competitors. No firm can afford to stand still as far as quality is concerned
- Whilst controlling quality has benefits to the firm, it can also be costly to do, so it is important that the benefits outweigh the costs in the long term