Core Values - Reliability: How to Prove It to Every Customer

December 18, 2020

“Oh yeah? Prove it!” That sounds more like a phrase we hear on the playground among schoolchildren than something said between grown adults, but if you’ve ever been a customer (and that’s everyone), you know that there’s some truth to it: when it comes to products or services’ reliability, it isn’t something simply talked about, it must be proven – turning the words into action.

How do we prove reliability to every customer? Through quality.

The perceived quality of products and services customers have is closely aligned with the perception of company reliability.

In his blog Accendo Reliability, Reliability Engineer (yes, that's a thing!) Fred Schenkelberg says “Reliability is all of quality over time ... [however we] relate quality and reliability, we need to remember that quality or reliability is not a department, team or engineering down the hall. Quality and reliability are part of the culture of the organization. It’s how we make the decisions [that] impact how the product or service performs for the customer.” Within Schenkelberg’s article, he lists out these eight dimensions to quality, as suggested by Harvard Business School alumni David Garvin back in 1987.

1) Performance: the product or service’s primary operating characteristics

2) Features: Additional characteristics that enhance the product or service for the user

3) Reliability: The likelihood that a product will not fail within a specific time period

4) Conformity: The precision in which the product or service meets specified standard

5) Durability: Measuring the length of a product’s life

6) Serviceability: Speed with which product (or behavior of a serviceperson) is put into action

7) Aesthetic: The personal response a customer has to a product’s look and feel

8) Perceived Quality: Attributed to good service based on the dimensions above

Test It. Then Guarantee It.

Test your product and service for all eight of the characteristics listed above. This way, your team can identify weaknesses, inconsistencies and pain points within the makeup of your products and services. Once you and your company have a product you can truly say is of superior quality, back it with a robust guarantee. Customers are impressed by companies who are willing to lose money if the customer is not satisfied with the quality of their product. Offer lifetime guarantees against defects and guarantee product durability, promising not only satisfaction but integrity, too. How do you prove reliability? By making quality your top priority, followed by standing behind your products and services.

Established in 1920 in Portland, Oregon, 2020 marked 100 years of expertise from DENNIS Uniform. Celebrating a century of school partnerships and three generations of satisfied families, DENNIS Uniform is the largest school uniform provider in the United States. DENNIS is proud to publish this series of articles on living out our Core Values: Simplicity, Trust, Focus, Reliability and Leadership.