7.2 Customer-related processes

The objective of an ISO 9001 Quality Management System is to keep the customer happy. This requirement applies at all stages of the sales process e.g. enquiry and quotation, order receipt, order processing, order amendment.

At each stage, the key questions are:

  • Do we really understand what the customer wants?
  • Are we able to do the job on time and in full?
  • Has the customer changed their requirements?

Such key questions should be the basic sales objectives in any business.

7.2.1 Determine product requirements

Identify the following:

  • Customers requirements
  • Those defined by the product’s purpose
  • Legal and statutory obligations
  • Organizational objectives
  • Appropriate records

NB these often relate to the outputs from 7.1 process planning.

7.2.2 Review product requirements

Conduct a review of customer requirements before order acceptance:

  • Ensure product requirements are defined
  • Ensure product requirements are agreed
  • Ensure any amendments to the specification are agreed
  • Ensure any amendments to the specification are communicated
  • Ensure that your organisation is able to achieve the stated requirements

All contracts and orders should be reviewed and accepted only if the requirements are clear and understood and the company has the capability and capacity to assure fulfilment of customer expectations.

7.2.3 Customer Communication

  • Develop a process to control communications with customers
  • Implement your customer communications process
  • Communicate with your customers

Customer related processes also relate to 7.3 Design, 7.4 Purchasing and 7.5 Process control.

Should I document our customer-related processes?

It is not a mandatory requirement to document 7.2. However, you should always look to adequately define and control any operational processes that directly impact product quality, for sample 7.2.2.

How's best to document the processes?

Develop and implement a procedure that defines:

  • The responsibilities and methods required for product review
  • The responsibilities and methods required for contact or order acceptance
  • The responsibilities and methods required for amending contracts or orders
  • What records are required

Looking for help documenting 7.2.2?

We provide a template for the operational procedure '7.2.2 Contract Review' to help you document these processes in many of our ISO Templates.

Measuring the effectiveness of customer-related processes

This might be determined by monitoring trends, e.g. order rejection, customer complaints or post-delivery feedback.