Written: 26th February 2019
Author: Richard Keen
The current ISO 9001 guidelines include a clause that is specifically concerned with the concept of customer satisfaction. These are requirements that every successful business should be aware of, in order to be able to take the correct actions toward maintaining a customer base.
What is ISO 9001 Customer Satisfaction? The ISO 9001 Customer Satisfaction guidelines assist companies in making sure that their products and services are up to the correct quality standards for their customers. These statistics should be closely monitored, analyzed, reviewed and documented in order to be able to take corrective action in the event that the guidelines are not being followed.
When you are involved in the operations of any type of business, it is always important to make the customer happy for obvious reasons. So, when it comes to the Customer Satisfaction clause of the ISO 9001 guidelines, the personnel of a company must pay close attention to how they can properly satisfy the customers that give them business.
Customer satisfaction is important for companies on any level and in any industry, for the simple reason that customers keep cash flowing through a business. In order to be successful in the world of business, a loyal customer base must be established early on.
This is achieved by satisfying the customers, which will keep them coming back and spending money with the business. The ISO 9001 provides specific guidelines on how to uphold these standards to keep satisfying customers and improving the inner workings of the business on a regular basis.
The list below will give you a good idea of what the customer satisfaction process should look like in a company.
ISO 9001 Customer Satisfaction Process:
To begin any kind of customer satisfaction process, the company will need to first identify what will give them signs of whether the customers are happy with the service or not. This can be done by collecting surveys or evaluating data, which will be discussed in detail within the next few sections.
Along with making sure customers are satisfied, the business will also need to come up with a completion time for any solutions that they willl implement, as well as follow a set method of continuing to collect the data that will tell them how they are doing as a company.
With the consistent review of documented data and delegation of responsibility to each individual department, the company’s plan will basically consist of assessing customer satisfaction, creating a plan of action to improve it, and following up to make sure it stays that way.
When it comes to making efforts to satisfy the customers of a business, there are a lot of continuous actions behind it. While the ISO 9001 guidelines assist these businesses in evaluating their customer satisfaction levels, they must also put forth the effort to make sure that these statistics are being kept track of.
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One of the efforts that must be put forth in regards to customer satisfaction is to monitor it. This way, the company will be able to know exactly where they stand with the satisfaction of their customers, and be ready to take the correct action to stay where they need to be.
Take a look at the list below to find out some of the most effective ways that a business can monitor their customer satisfaction. In the rest of this section, we will be going over in detail how customer satisfaction can be monitored effectively for the best results.
How to Monitor Customer Satisfaction:
The first method of monitoring customer satisfaction is to collect customer satisfaction surveys. If you have ever been on a phone call with the customer service line of a large corporation, you might have also received an email or text after the call that asked you to rate the service you received.
When the company in question receives the feedback from this survey, they will integrate it into their records in order to come up with a consensus of how they are doing as a company.
Some of these customer satisfaction surveys might consist of a simple star rating, while others will go more into detail about the specific procedures that are in place within the business.
The management ream of the same company will then be able to easily evaluate what they are doing correctly as well as what changes their customers would like to see going forward in order to keep their business on a long-term basis.
This method might be the most straight forward way to monitor customer satisfaction, because the company is able to ask them directly what they liked about the product or service as well as what they didn’t.
Another great way to monitor customer satisfaction is to review and monitor customer data trends. For example, if a retail business introduced a new line of products, they would be able to review the data trends at the end of the quarter to see how their customers reacted to the change.
From the records that are kept as far as purchases in store, returns, or even clicks online, they will be able to get a good idea of how well their new product resonated with their customers and also compare the new line to the others that have been doing well in their store for several years.
The company will then be able to make the decision of whether or not they will continue to offer this line of products or get rid of it for the next quarter, in order to keep as many customers as they possibly can and ensure the success of their business.
Another very important aspect of customer satisfaction, which is also the least desirable topic for the personnel of a business, is the customer complaints.
Just like how the customers will talk about what they were satisfied with after a call or a transaction in a satisfaction survey, they will also let you know what they were less than impressed with through a customer complaint.
Even though the task of dealing with upset customers can seem daunting, companies must be able to adapt frequently by changing the things they are doing wrong. If a customer has a bad experience with the business, the personnel must make an effort to fix the situation in order to uphold customer satisfaction standards overall.
During the process of monitoring customer satisfaction, the management of the business is also responsible for measuring the effectiveness of their methods, which can be done very easily with correct documentation and records.
Keep reading to the next section to find out everything you need to know about documenting the customer satisfaction guidelines that are being monitored and measured.
Along with the act of monitoring customer satisfaction, a company must also keep organized and detailed documentation of these statistics in order to effectively come up with solutions to boost their good standing.
While it is not required to document your customer satisfaction progress, it is always beneficial to have records on hand in order to be able to decide if the company is doing what it is supposed to do in this regard.
Additionally, customer satisfaction documents will give the personnel of the company full control of how they are performing as a business, and let them know clearly what they are doing well and what they should be doing better to keep their customers coming back to them.
What to Document - Customer Satisfaction:
The things that should be documented for the most effective levels of customer satisfaction are the surveys submitted by the customers themselves, how customer feedback has been dealt with by employees, customer data, and the solutions provided for returns and warranty claims from the customers.
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Aside from the monitoring and action that goes behind upholding customer satisfaction performance, the solutions that are provided for all of these problems must also be closely looked at with proper documentation.
This way, the company will be able to decide whether they are handling these issues and improving their customer satisfaction rankings in the most efficient manner, or if more training and strategizing will be required to fix the problems they might have in this area.
To get ISO 9001 certification, you will need to prepare your company to implement the set guidelines. The rest of the process will include documenting this data, implementing the regulations, and going through an internal audit before certification is granted.
Depending on the size and complexity of the business, this can take anywhere from 9 months to a year or more.
Richard is our Compliance Director, responsible for content & product development.
But most importantly he is ISO's biggest fanboy and a true evangelist of the standards.
Learn more about Richard
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Control of Customer Satisfaction Procedure
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