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TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT
Total Quality Management (TQM) is a set of tools and a process whose output yields customer satisfaction and continuous improvement. This philosophy and process differs from traditional philosophies and processes in that everyone in the organization/agency can and must practice. It espouses "win-win" attitude.
This is based upon everyone in an organisation taking responsibility for his/her own part of a process. As a model this has proved its worth in large industries such as car production, software development, electronics and the like. The 'total' in total quality is a concern for quality in broader sense. It is about continual improvement of the quality of its products, services, people, processes and environment. It is continually satisfying agreed customer requirements at lowest cost through harnessing everyone's commitment.
The total quality approach is characterized by
- customer focus;
- obsession with quality;
- scientific approach to decision-making and problem solving;
- long-term commitment;
- continual process improvement;
- education and training;
- unity of purpose;
- employee involvement & empowerment.
However, you will note that quality systems are dynamic. They evolve with time with a view for continuous improvement. This explains why we need to monitor and review our standards for customer service excellence regularly.
Using quality systems for customer service excellence Traditional ways of assessing quality were not only highly product based, but were mostly aimed at minimising negative quality such as poor service – so that the best one could ever do was to get nothing wrong! Did they deliver excellence? Not necessarily!
You will realise that getting nothing wrong doesn't necessarily mean that we have got everything right!