Quality and quantity

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We live in an age of quantity. The media shapes us with the notion that larger, faster, and more are often synonymous with better. We are told that we need to find more time, more possessions, and more love to be truly happy. A smaller quantity of anything that is high in quality will almost always be more satisfying. But do we extend this logic to the final assumption of "If I charge twice as much, I only have to deal with half as many customers?"

Many a veterinarian is guilty of spending an hour during a routine vaccination with a client and their pet. Does this equate to good quality and poor quantity of service when other customers are waiting? Interestingly, quantity is not a separate goal from quality. Quantity is actually efficiency, and efficiency is part of quality. Instead of focusing on the number of consultations we took in a day, we must talk about this performance goal in terms of how efficiently we performed that consultation. Did we use the time we had with them appropriately? We can not say that we offered the customer a quality interaction if we kept them in the consult room for 45 minutes trying to solve their issue. With each consultation we owe the customer courtesy, information, honesty, answers and efficiency. A customer who received the service they were looking for in 3 to 4 minutes will be happier than one who receives that service after 10 minutes[1].

In addition to the individual consultation, the time one spends with one customer can also affect the perspective of the customer who is waiting in queue. It is important to be aware of the impact of the time you spend on each consultation. The more efficient you are with each consultation, the more effective the clinic will be as a whole. Efficiency is based on the expectations that a veterinarian should:

  • foster and maintain a good relationship with their customers.
  • earn the trust of their customers through full communication and by providing appropriate information.
  • respect their customers’ views and protect their customers’ confidentiality.
  • respond promptly, fully and courteously to complaints and criticism.
  • be aware of the different needs of their customers.

Quality is built on quantity or efficiency. Offer clear, helpful, efficient customer interactions. My team learned it and improved in each one of their performance goals. Let the quality versus quantity battle end. Your customers will thank you.

References

  1. Kerwin, J (2010) Quality versus quantity