How to Create a Culture of Quality in Your Publishing Company
As a publisher, you are responsible for producing a quality product at all levels: writing, editing, design, printing, customer service, and marketing (pricing, promotion, and distribution). Poor quality -- whether in product and service -- can destroy a publishing venture over time. Negative word-of-mouth communication, whether in person, in blogs, in discussion groups and forums, or through social media spreads quickly and is difficult to overcome. While you cannot control what others say about you on these media, you can control the source of their pleasure or discontent by maintaining high levels of product and service quality. Here are Ten Aspects of Product and Service Quality you should consider.
- Perceived quality is subjective when prospective customers evaluate cover design, content, promotion and potential benefits of use
- Perceived quality is objective when prospective customers compare price, editing, printing, size, and comparable features among competitive products
- When customers are unhappy with a product they can use social media to quickly spread the word about their displeasure
- As the publisher you are responsible for stressing quality among all functions so employees become passionate about producing a quality product
- Employees reflect quality in their organization from the way the phone is answered to the way customers' complaints are handled
- Instill collective "pride in ownership" among employees with a consistent message of quality in internal communication
- Refresh your external communication periodically and emphasize customer benefits in your promotion
- Cost control is important, but reduce costs without lowering your standards of quality
- Your attention to quality is reflected in all your interactions with prospects and customers whether in person (trade shows, personal selling, seminars, networking) or through a medium such as your website, blog, social media, press releases, advertising, or sales promotion
- When negotiating large-quantity sales with experienced corporate buyers, they will assess the quality of your product and proposal by the way you handle yourself as a sales professional, including your preparation, presentation and desire to produce an equitable outcome for both parties
Brian Jud is an author, book-marketing consultant, seminar leader, television host and president of Premium Book Company, which sells books to non-bookstore buyers on a non-returnable, commission-only basis and conducts on-site training for publishers' sales forces.
Brian is the author of "How to Make Real Money Selling Books (Without Worrying About Returns)," a do-it-yourself guide to selling books to non-bookstore buyers in large quantities, with no returns. He has written many articles about book publishing and marketing, is the author of the eight e-booklets with "Proven Tips for Publishing Success," and creator of the series of "Book Marketing Wizards." He is also the editor of the bi-weekly newsletter, "Book Marketing Matters."
Brian is the host of the television series "The Book Authority" and has aired over 650 shows. In addition, he is the author, narrator and producer of the media-training video program "You're On The Air."