'A quality product'. 'We strive to deliver a quality service'. The word 'quality' is used so often that it has almost lost its meaning entirely. Obviously, people are looking for high quality goods and services, but how can you distinguish the genuine quality from the not-so-good if they all promise the same? And from a business point of view, how can we really get across to our customers that when we talk about our quality products we really mean it?
A good starting point is to realise that what people are looking for goes much further than the actual product or service they buy. Rather they are looking for a quality experience with the company from start to finish, including the product itself.
One of our very first projects at Neko was the signage and urban furniture for Chapultepec park, in collaboration with Grupo de Diseño Urbano. To be involved in such an important project together with the renowned Mexican architect Mario Schjetnan when just starting out was very exciting for us. We wanted to deliver the very best and took great care of all the details in our work and the information submitted to our client. For the Executive Project, we printed out special labels for each CD, put all the deliverables in labelled folders, spent hours folding the blueprints perfectly, and delivered on time. We did not imagine at the time that our attention to detail would have far-reaching consequences.
From that first project in 2005, we were recommended to other clients as a company who could be trusted to do an outstanding job within the deadline. The project even won a Jury Award at the Society for Environmental Graphic Design in San Diego, California. Now, 11 years on, the great majority of our clients have come from word-of-mouth recommendations, and thus we have had the opportunity to work with both the government and some of the most important companies in Mexico on projects throughout the country.
Our focus on quality has had other positive consequences for Neko. We have been awarded at least one design award each year since 2007 both in Mexico and internationally and our work has been published in over 50 magazines and newspapers worldwide. This kind of recognition is an invaluable and yet cost-effective way to get our work noticed in the right circles, as well as being a fantastic addition to our portfolio.
So, what are the details that we pay such close attention to? Well, the short answer is 'everything'. Not just the final product, but promotional materials, telephone manner, courteous emails, customer service, good post-sale attention; the list goes on and on.
Even things which are often overlooked such as correct grammar and spelling - we're quite particular about that! - After all, how can a customer expect to receive a quality product if their first experience with the company is a badly written email or a rude person on the phone? In this age of social media, we must keep in mind that bad quality or service can have a very real and immediate negative impact on a business. As consumers, we are bombarded with options, and the products we choose to buy are often selected not just for their quality or price, but for the overall service we receive from everyone in the process. We try to apply the same in our company. Everyone who works with us is an ambassador for our brand, and it's important for us that potential and existing customers have a positive experience with Neko.