Does “Higher” Quality Justify Delivering Late?
The other day, I read the “4-Hour Work Week” by Tim Farriss. I read about how delivering on time and not being late is more important than getting your product or service at the highest quality.
Although this is not clear in the general context, we can say that quality over delivery is better for the long run, but…
What is higher quality? What does that mean?
One of the biggest mistakes is to justify quality for more time needed to deliver a product/service — aka being late. Doing so will make the customer think:
- Why are they justifying being late for better quality?
- Aren’t they supposed to sell the products/services at the highest quality in the first place?
- Why are they buying more time?
- Why didn’t they say so before I bought the product/service?
- Am I being fooled? …etc
Now imagine the other scenario, imagine that you are not buying time, but you are buying quality… I will deliver this product/service to you before the promised time. The customer will evidently think: Wow! these people are soo nice, they promised me a 48-hour delivery, but they are sending it in less than 24 hours! Great service!
Consumers rarely would think that you are providing poor quality for the scenario above. The reason behind this — although you might be reducing the quality — people are always optimistic about earlier deliveries. Think about it, how many times you questioned the quality of an early delivery product/service? None.
Thinking that you are delivering late for the sake of getting the product ready in the highest quality is a lame excuse and would cost you, customers, most of the time. They won’t do business with you again. Customers want better customer service in the first place. I don’t care if your product is of the lowest quality in the market. If you are delivering as promised and taking care of your customers, you will make loyal customers that will eventually come back to you.
This logic can be applied in different industries and services. People don’t like to wait; they want to get their products/services on time. Late delivery means bad service, end of the story. This is why it is smarter to overestimate your delivery times, so when you deliver earlier, your customers are happy.
“Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.”
― William Shakespeare