There is a great book on the shelves at the moment called “Don’t sweat the small stuff”. In Quality it is different. Do sweat the small stuff. It is the little things that matter in quality. Think of any quality product, it is the little things that give you that warm fuzzy feeling of quality.

Mercedes for instance. When you buy a Mercedes it is the small things that you notice. The first aid kit in the arm rest at the back, the red triangle in the boot (that you never have to use because Mercedes never break down) Any quality product is like that, it is the little things that count. The cost of the little things in the Mercedes probably only accounts for about 1% of the selling price but they make a big difference in the perception of Quality as far as the customers are concerned.

I get to stay in hotels quite a lot in my business but I don’t often use hotel laundries, I usually carry enough clothes with me. On one occasion a couple of years ago I had to get some clothes laundered because I was staying longer than I anticipated and a shirt that went to the laundry didn’t have a button on the cuff when it went. I knew that the button was missing but it didn’t worry me because I wear cufflinks.

When the shirt came back from the laundry however, someone had taken the time and trouble to match a button and sew it onto the shirt. They didn’t charged me for it, they didn’t even mentioned it, they just did it! Now that’s quality!

It’s the little things that matter. What little things can you do for your customers today?

If you fly around the country you will notice that there are two different levels of quality on the aircraft, business class and economy at the back. The price between the two classes is very different but if you think about it you are both getting exactly the same trip. The business class leave at the same time as the economy class, they arrive at exactly the same time (well, business class arrives a little earlier but the difference is marginal).

The only difference between the different quality levels is little things. The business class traveller will get slightly better food, a real knife to cut the meat, a little wider and more comfortable seat, but that is it. Quality is in the little things.

A couple of years ago my daughter got a remote control car from her grandmother for Christmas. When a child starts to unwrap a remote control car on Christmas day what is the first thing the parents think about. You guessed it… Batteries!

They are thinking about how they can extend their bond to pay for all the batteries until the child drives the car through a deep puddle and then there is no need for any more batteries.

This car was not a very expensive car but it came packed with not one but two sets of rechargeable batteries and a little recharge unit. Now that is quality!

Think about the little things that you can do on a regular basis for your customers. Don’t charge them extra; don’t even tell them, they will notice I assure you, just do it. You will be amazed what effect that will have on your customer’s perception of your quality product or service.


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