Total Quality Management (TQM)
Definition - What does Total Quality Management (TQM) mean?
Total quality management (TQM) is a workplace system designed to help a company produce better products and improve customer service. Under this system, every employee is expected to identify ways to improve the product and customer service on top of their normal responsibilities. With the entire company focused on improving quality, the company should minimize mistakes and consistently release better products. Although this system was initially developed for factories producing products, it has more recently been applied to all kinds of companies, including insurance companies.
Insuranceopedia explains Total Quality Management (TQM)
If an insurance company launched a program based on total quality management, they would be looking for ways to prevent errors with customer documents, speed up the processing of claims, and improve the quality of service for customers. Because the insurance industry is very competitive, customer satisfaction is considered a key factor in customer retention. TQM would also extend to ensuring that a company remains in good financial standing, which is also key for insurance companies.
TQM involves the systematic analysis and improvement of work processes in a company. Its benefits include an increase in market share, improved profitability, cost reductions, employee retention, increased productivity and an innovative work environment.
In insurance, the idea behind TQM is for clients to experience a smooth transition between each stage of interaction with the chosen carrier. This starts at advertising and goes all the way through the processes of purchasing a policy and even filing a claim. It's important to note that TQM in insurance (as in any industry) is about quality as defined by the client.