Is service quality important in marketing?

My blog post today arose from a story of poor quality experienced by a business contact of mine, Jim.

Jim had always used one particular local firm for all his printing requirements and been happy with the service they provided. However, just at the time he was running low on business cards he was approached by another printing company who quoted to do the job at a much lower price. Well print is just print isn’t it; he thought to himself and placed an order with the new print firm.

He signed off the proof for his cards and awaited their arrival.  When he received the cards he discovered to his horror that they were incorrect. Upon pointing this out to the printer he was told he would have to pay for a re-print despite the fact they didn’t match the proofs he had signed off!

Needless to say he ditched the new print company and went back to his original provider who had never made a mistake in all the years he had been dealing with them.

Having had his fingers burnt once he is unlikely to take a chance and switch print supplier again so is now potentially an extremely loyal client and likely to refer others.

So, the moral of this story is quality counts.

Quality can serve as a differentiator, even though it is not difficult to replicate, and can enable you to stand above the competition and help ensure client loyalty. Good quality also assists you to charge a premium. Jim thought he was saving money using a cheaper print firm but it actually cost him more in the long run.

Good quality does not just have to relate to the service you provide but can also be applied to the documentation you provide or the way you respond to your customers, for example.

Whatever you do, do it well and do it consistently well.

Do you have a story you would like to share where quality made the difference?