Total Quality Management is the key mantra for the manufacturing industry, but its benefits have been better realised by intense customer-oriented service industries be it fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), retail, hospitality, telecom or banking. In service organisations, the TQM challenge lies in establishing smooth connectivity between business processes so as to retain the customer. The TQM approach should be to connect to the customer at every stage of the business process.
At the core of the service industries is satisfying the customer in every transaction. But, in reality, this rarely happens; indeed, customers are usually faced with problems and delays at every point of the business transaction. Obviously, this is rarely brought to the attention of the top management, except perhaps by a few loyal customers. Besides affecting the company's image, and the customer base, the cost of the corrective actions can be considerable enough to erode the bottomline.