Get your priorities right

Quality, Price & Speed of delivery – we all know that these concepts are generally part of the top expectations of our customers. And we are all in a hurry to optimize each of them.

But are they equally important? My take is that one takes precedence over the other two.


I’d like to equate customer expectations with Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs. Maslow argued that basic physiological human needs like food and water had to be met before we moved on to more nuanced needs. My reckoning is that customers also have a basic expectation – to receive the product / service they ordered in the quality that was promised. They move up to more higher-level needs once this basic need is met.

Organizational success depends on recognizing this simple fact. Customers expect to receive the product or service in the quality that was promised.

All other expectations come ‘next’.

So instead of optimizing between the 3 key expectations, we should rather get ‘quality’ right and then build on that foundation. Optimize within the boundaries set for quality!

Getting this right should not be too difficult, right?

After all it was us who make these promises. We should know how to deliver what we promised.

But then why do organizations fail?