"Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel." (Proverbs 20:17)
Quality can be defined in many ways. I'll stay focused on tiling, which is my specialty...
People want a quality job done by a quality tiling contractor. They expect:
But one thing I have found in this business is that most people I meet have a hard time finding these qualities in a tile installer. Well, they are out there! They may be few in number, but they do exist.
I try to run my business on these foundations. I put myself in the customer's shoes. If I was calling a tile installer to give me a quote, I would be paying attention to the little things like, "is he listening to what I'm asking him, or is he just talking at me?". When he arrives at my house, does he let me ask him as many questions as I want to, or does he just try to secure a downpayment for the job?
The proverb I live by is "fools make haste". To get a great result, quality can never be rushed. When a tile installer rushes, you end up with crooked lines, uneven tiles, improper layouts, and just plain ugly work - things that you may be forced to stare at for the next 10 years.
Also, I've always believed in treating others as I would like to be treated - "Do to others as you would have them do to you".
So, to me, quality is not only expertise, it's the whole person. Spend a little bit of time with that person before you hire them. It might pay off in the end.