The bedrock of Total Quality Management (TQM) is satisfaction of both internal and external customers. External customers or end customers are clients who place orders with the company or people who buy the company’s products or services. Satisfaction of external customers remains possible only with the satisfaction of internal customers. Internal customers depend on the specific worker or work process. It can, for instance, include one department, the work of which depends on the output of another department. The entire workforce remains internal customers of the human resource department.
Prior to the implementation of TQM, price remained the major deciding factor when manufacturing products or offering services.TQM strives to effect policy and operational changes to match and exceed the expectations of internal and external customer at all stages, and the implementation of TQM ensures fixing customer-centric quality and timely delivery values with price.
Customers rate quality based on design considerations such as look, feel, and function as well as performance parameters such as adherence to a range of values. Customers then determine the value of the product or service as the relation of such quality standards to price. TQM customer satisfaction aims to optimize value for the customer by enhancing design standards, reducing variability to eliminate problems, and improving process efficiency and productivity to reduce costs.
Such a customer-centric attitude requires active interface with the customer to determine his needs and preferences, or understanding the design levels, performance standards, and the relative price levels that would satisfy or delight him. This policy of involving the customer, taking his feedback, and responding to his requirements contributes to building a healthy customer relationship.