These days, we hear the word quality so often that it’s come to lose some of its meaning. It could be argued that we’ve commoditized quality to the point that when businesses claim they offer the highest quality to consumers, we’re distrustful and doubt the claim.
Today, consumers need proof that quality claims are more than just lip service. This is especially important in the cannabis industry. Consumers need to believe that a business or brand’s claims of quality will meet or exceed their expectations.
That’s exactly what QualSCORE does for the cannabis industry. We enable cannabis businesses and brands to prove their quality and customer experiences are the best. It’s not lip service when you have customer feedback and data that provides inarguable proof.
So what is quality in the cannabis industry? You can’t measure it and prove you deliver it to consumers better than your competitors if you can’t define it.
What is Quality?
The key to defining quality is to understand that quality means something different for every business and brand because it’s based on their specific stakeholders’ needs, wants, and expectations.
Who are your stakeholders?
For a cannabis business or brand, your customers are your most important stakeholders, but you also need to consider your employees, investors, and community.
Keep in mind, when I say community, I’m talking about your local community where you do business as well as the larger society, particularly as it relates to ethical business practices, sustainability, environmental impact, and other ways your business or brand affects the cannabis industry and the wider world.
As we work to remove the stigmas attached to cannabis and legitimize the industry, we need to think beyond your local community when you consider stakeholders.
With that said, the key characteristics of quality include:
- Providing products and services that consumers need
- Delivering products and services that create deficiency and error-free customer experiences.
- Committing to ongoing continuous improvement that focuses on fixing root causes of deficiencies and errors to deliver the best customer experiences in the future.
However, simply meeting expectations isn’t enough today.
Consumers expect products and services to meet their needs. High quality equates to exceeding expectations. As Victor E. Sewer wrote in Essentials of Quality, “Satisfying customers merely keeps you in the game. Delighting customers (exceeding customer expectations) is where competitive advantage can be found.”
Think of it this way. Do you want your cannabis business or brand to be good enough or better than the rest? High quality makes you better than the rest – if you can prove it.
Building a Culture of Quality
Every employee at every level is responsible for your cannabis business or brand’s quality, but unless the leaders of an organization walk the walk and talk the talk, employees won’t have the incentive to believe in quality and work towards achieving the highest quality every day.
Business leaders need to fully understand the power of quality to build a brand and grow a business. To that end, they need to develop processes and use tools like QualSCORE to track and measure quality on a daily basis. Without data – specifically, without verifiable customer feedback – there is no accurate way to determine if a business or brand is consistently exceeding customer expectations and delivering high quality.
Building a culture of quality starts at the top and trickles down through employees and even suppliers. However, leaders can’t simply demand the best and expect employees to jump up and embrace quality without question. On the contrary, leaders need to make sure every employee understands why quality matters to both the organization’s success and to their personal success.
Bottom-line, by improving quality, organizations can exponentially reduce costs related to deficiencies, errors, and poor customer experiences.
Think about the amount of time and money most companies spend on customer service issues. How much does each customer complaint cost in terms of employee wages, lost productivity, rework, waste, lost future sales, and negative word-of-mouth marketing?
Smart companies don’t just write a quality policy and call it a day. They understand that investing in quality without building a culture of quality is a waste of time and money because any results will be limited and short-lived. Instead, they integrate quality into every business process and build a culture of quality where employees understand and care about exceeding customer expectations.
Implementing Quality for Cannabis Businesses and Brands
Prioritizing quality and building a culture of quality is crucial to your cannabis business or brand’s success, but if you don’t have a way to implement quality processes, then you won’t be able to achieve the level of high quality that sets your business or brand apart in the marketplace and enables you to charge premium prices.
How are you going to integrate quality into your organization?
The first step is defining your stakeholders and their needs. Next, you need to determine how you can exceed their expectations with your products, services, and customer experiences. You also need to bring all of your employees to the table and educate them on the importance of quality, and you need to monitor your quality to make sure your processes are working.
Finally, you need to commit to collecting and tracking customer feedback as well as measuring quality on an ongoing basis so you can focus on continuous improvement. That’s the only way you can achieve a high quality reputation and position in the market, and it’s the only way you can hold onto that reputation and position over time.
Fortunately, QualSCORE has already built the tools and processes you need to do it! All you need to do is sign up and get started.