Customer satisfaction is an important and difficult competitive advantage. After all, keeping customers satisfied means you do not lose them to your competitors. At the same time, your customers may become brand sponsors and help attract new customers through referrals (the power of word of mouth!).
However, many organizations find it difficult to focus on customer satisfaction on a daily basis. Even if a business has been growing with a satisfied customer base so far, maintaining this level of satisfaction while expanding it can be challenging. This is where implementing and obtaining ISO 9001: 2015 certification can help!
The quality management system standard, ISO 9001: 2015, provides a framework for your business to consistently deliver products or services that meet customer needs and expectations through continuous improvement processes.
Customer focus is one of the seven key principles of this standard that emphasizes leadership commitment to increase and maintain customer satisfaction. ISO 9001 also includes ensuring that customer oversight requirements are met and that risks related to the compliance of products and services are addressed. By specifying the requirements of a quality management system, ISO 9001: 2015 has proven to be of great help in managing customer satisfaction, which includes the following benefits:
- Customer satisfaction improves
- A structure is created for businesses to expand their operations without affecting the quality of services or products
- Market power through quality of service, which leads to better and bigger contracts
- The customer base is constantly growing with satisfied customer referrals
- Leads to increased profits
ISO 9001: 2015 and customer focus approach
In summary, ISO 9001: 2015 provides an internationally recognized framework for business growth through a risk-based process approach. This standard enables organizations to achieve and benchmark consistent performance and service, and not only meet customer, regulatory and regulatory needs, but also go beyond them.
There are several clauses in the ISO 9001: 2015 standard that achieve customer satisfaction. The main paragraph is 9.1.2:
Clause 9.1.2 of ISO 9001: 2015 requires the organization to monitor customer awareness of the extent to which their needs and expectations have been met. The organization should determine how to obtain, monitor and review this information.
Talking about customer awareness can be very dependent on a person’s way of thinking. However, ISO 9001: 2015 sets a formal framework for the organization to meet quality requirements by requiring the organization to determine ways to deal with this information.
Methods for monitoring customer satisfaction and meeting the requirements of ISO 9001: 2015
The purpose of ISO 9001: 9.2.2 is to ensure that the business will develop and implement a methodological approach to realistically measuring customer satisfaction. When it comes to customer needs, the organization not only considers the end user, but also the stakeholders involved in the process, such as distributors and suppliers.
The following steps describe a realistic way to achieve the customer satisfaction process in accordance with ISO 9001: 2015:
Step 1 – Evaluate Customer Satisfaction – Identify what your metrics are
– What does the customer expect from your business?
Why do they buy your product or service and get involved with your brand ?
– What is really important to them?
These are questions that go to the core of your customer relationship and help define what is important to them. You will be surprised to learn how far the company’s answers to these questions are from what customers really expect from them. That’s why this is a powerful and enlightening exercise that helps you see your business from a customer perspective.
Answer these questions based on your target audience, look at previous feedback (if any), and then define realistic metrics for your business. Some of them include the following:
- Delivery time
- customer services
- Competitive prices
- Product availability
- Product quality
- the project goal
These are just a few examples; Because things have to be different depending on the industry, the size of the organization, the complexity of the operation and the nature of the customer relationship.
Step 2 – Get the information – Establish a process for receiving customer feedback
Now that you know what you are looking for when considering your customer’s needs, it is time to understand what is involved in getting this information. First, determine what tools you use to collect the data. These may include the following:
- Send questionnaires and promote customer surveys
- Review and request feedback on products or services
- Complaint, Refund and Refund Forms
- Investigate interactions through social networks
Do not be afraid of negative feedback and consider it as valuable information to help you improve and focus on what is important to your customers. Once you know what makes customers dissatisfied, you can quickly address the issue, work on restoring their trust, and prevent losing more customers for similar reasons.
Likewise, the feedback process also allows satisfied customers to let you know what you are doing right, and provides insights into your strengths.
Step 3 – Analyze and review the data – Create a plan to measure customer satisfaction
Merely maintaining customer satisfaction makes no sense unless you can get real value from it. Establish a strategy for analyzing the periods of information you obtain at least once a year.
In addition to helping you meet the requirements of ISO 9001: 2015, monitoring customer satisfaction is a way to:
- Understand your current capabilities against competitors
- Identify gaps in your entire chain of operations
- Create new strategies to attract new customers
- Identify new customer segments
- Create solutions to improve customer satisfaction
- Define the best approach to dealing with dissatisfied customers
Continuous review and analysis of documented data helps the organization to meet customer needs as one of the indicators of the effectiveness of the quality management system in accordance with the requirements of ISO 9001: 2015.
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