2. Quality counts.
A top quality staff, a quality product or service, and high quality treatment of customers and employees. No organization will ever be faulted for maintaining an unwavering commitment to quality.
This is my favorite of the three time-tested truths because I’ve always believed that anything worth doing is worth doing right. No person, no company, no product is perfect. There will always be some shortcomings. However, those shortcomings will often be forgiven when there is a high level of quality in some other component of the person, company, or product.
A perfect example of this can be found in the Maine-based company L.L.Bean, Inc. The company’s guiding principle is to keep customers satisfied, even boasting “100% Satisfaction Guaranteed”.
A couple of years ago, I purchased a pair of Bean Boots for my daughter for Christmas. I placed my order in late November with an expected delivery of mid-December.
A few days after the expected delivery, I received a small package from the company notifying me of a delay in availability of the boots. The note of apology came with a beautifully-made keychain (a miniature replica of the Bean Boot). The delivery date was adjusted to early January.
Two weeks later: I received another note of apology (along with a $10 L.L.Bean gift card) for yet another delay in delivery. This time, the company was unable to project a delivery date.
I think it’s safe to say that my experience was not unique and I bet there are a large number of customers who did not receive their intended holiday gifts on time.
I’m sure you’d agree that this is the type of snafu that could cost any company a huge loss in customer base. However, I doubt it had much impact on L.L.Bean. Customers will continue to shop from L.L.Bean despite it failure to deliver on time. Why? Because L.L.Bean offers exceptional quality products and superior customer service. Sure, they failed to deliver to their customers on time, but they wouldn’t compromise on the quality of their product simply to get it out the door faster.
As I said: “No organization will ever be faulted for maintaining an unwavering commitment to quality.”