ISO 9001 customer satisfaction refers to international standards of quality that explicitly demonstrate the Quality Management System (QMS) specific requirements. Organizations, both large and small businesses, use this standard to ensure consistent delivery of quality products and services that particularly meet customers’ needs and legal, regulatory specifications.

ISO 90015 is the latest revised version, which was released back in 2015. Please note that all the organizations holding ISO 9001:2008 need to transition to ISO 9001:2015 by September 2018. Otherwise, their license to the standard will not remain valid.

ISO 9001 Customer Satisfaction

Considering the ever-increasing continuous demands of quality, products, and services, or prices on small companies, the most effective and efficient way to gain customer trust and confidence is through a well-structured Quality Management System – in this scenario, ISO 9001:2015. This revised version is more focused on the micro and small business sectors, considering the financial and employment importance.

ISO 9001:2015 is considered to be only implementable for large organizations. While widely held, this idea isn’t strictly true. The standard states that it is carefully written for all businesses regardless of their size.

Small businesses need to understand that this standard is written for all business sizes, thus providing significant business opportunities, improvements, and customer satisfaction. The process is not complicated and is designed to work with every small business’s existing operating system. Considering your current business models and strategies, implementing ISO 9001 Quality Management System can be done for a significantly low cost and minor maintenance with only a little documentation necessary.

Current Case of ISO 9001:2015 and Customer Focus

The current revised version ISO 9001:2015 holds “Customer Focus” on top of the 7 Quality Management Principles list. The standard focuses on providing customer satisfaction by adhering to and successfully meeting specific customer requirements. Ensuring service quality and customer satisfaction starts with the “PLAN,” which is the first phase of the PDCA Cycle (Plan, Do, Check, Act). As per the standard, the small organizations’ needs “to establish the objectives of the system and its processes, and the resources needed to deliver results under customers’ requirements and the organization’s policies, and to identify and address risks and opportunities.”

ISO 9001 Customer Satisfaction Clause

ISO 9001 Customer Satisfaction Clause 9.1.2 – It requires the organization to gauge and monitor customer perceptions to the extent to which their stated needs and requirements have been fulfilled. As a small business, you can ensure this clause’s continuous implementation within your customer-oriented business strategies and feedback procedures.

ISO 9001 Customer Satisfaction Clause 5.1.2 – requires the organization to ensure that customer satisfaction is maintained. As a small business or organization, you can enhance your customer satisfaction by approaching them proactively and solving their problems or issues. This level of care allows you to build a trustworthy customer-company relationship.

ISO 9001 Customer Satisfaction Clause 8.2.1 – this clause refers to the organization’s interest in customer feedback regarding the quality of products and services, including complaints and criticisms. Successful and continuous implementation and analysis of this point within the organization can eventually develop customer trust. Secondly, customer involvement and their valuable feedback can enable you to improve the quality of your products and services. This constant improvement increases levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty.

ISO 9001 Customer Satisfaction Clause 9.1.3b – this clause requires the organization to identify carefully, monitor, analyze, and finally evaluate the level of customer satisfaction in their interactions. Organizations can make use of this clause by implementing the procedure throughout the organization. They can also ensure that each response given by the customer is saved and future actions are improved based on those responses. This analysis is to sustain and enhance customer satisfaction and customer relationships.

What the standard says to help you improve customer relationships

As discussed before, ISO 9001:2015 is more focused on customer satisfaction than any other point and encourages continuously maintaining and improving customer relationships. Some specific components can be considered while ensuring quality and customer satisfaction. Small Businesses can benefit from these components and build long-term reliable customer relationships with potential customers.

Leadership Requirements

Ensuring that the organization’s business leaders are taking extra responsibility can prove to be good news for the customers. Imagine a scenario where a business leader takes time from the usual routine to contact the organization’s potential customers and take their feedback on the quality of services they received.

This added effort will provide substantial growth and improvement opportunities for the organization and subsequently make the customers feel more valuable, resulting in a stronger customer relationship. Incorporation of leadership requirements as per the new revised standard organizations can bring potential benefit to the organization.

Performance Evaluation

It is one of the core components of the standard that deals with the overall performance evaluation, specifically customer satisfaction. Evaluating the performance, taking notice, and consistently improving the Quality Management System can help you enhance the quality of products and services. Still, it is essential to carefully assess, evaluate, and measure the performance when it comes to customer satisfaction.

Any small organization needs to have a corrective action system for any customer complaints and queries. Customers appreciate it when a business puts effort into improving their processes along their suggested feedback. Doing so represents the culmination of a proper business-consumer relationship with a complete feedback loop.

Controlling External Suppliers

Another critical aspect of ISO 9001 customer satisfaction is to control the performance of any other external provider or supplier. In simple words, the better the quality services or products you will receive from the suppliers, the better it would be for you to deliver high-end quality-assured goods and services to the customers. ISO 9001:2015 standard enables your organization to streamline this process and ensure the timely delivery of quality products and services from external suppliers.

Operational Planning and Control

The ultimate key to satisfying customers is through structured operational planning and control. It has always been considered a core component of customer satisfaction. The entire production process is included, from initiation processes, planning strategies, controlling design and development to managing change requests and external supplies/suppliers. In short, the more excellent and consistent you are with this process, the more you will be able to satisfy the demands and requirements of your customers by delivering quality products and services.

Conclusion

We understand that everything a company does to comply with the ISO 9001:2015 standard will directly affect customer relationships. The more open, transparent, and accountable you will be towards your customers, the more robust the relationship you will develop with your customers. Using and incorporating ISO 9001:2015 Standard and requirements to build valuable customer relationships with your customers based on trust and confidence is in the business’s best interest.

Ensuring ISO 9001:2015 as a core foundation can help you gain potential customers and develop a long-lasting bond with existing customers. Don’t wait for your customers to contact you for auditing, be proactive, and invite them for the auditing process yourself.

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