ISO 9001 Customer
What are the ISO
9001:2000 requirements for customer satisfaction (CS)?
8.2.1 of ISO 9001:2000 requires an organization to "monitor information relating to customer perception as to
whether the organization has met requirements". It also requires methods be determined for "obtaining and using
Clause 7.2.1 c) requires an organization to determine and implement effective
arrangements for communicating with customers relating to customer feddback including customer
Clause 5.2 requires that top management shall “ensure that customer requirements are
determined and met, with the aim of enhancing customer satisfaction”.
Customer satisfaction (feedback) is
a tool (required
by the standard) to gauge the health of your QMS, by measuring the degree of satisfaction customers have with
your organization and its products from the customer’s point of view.
You want to find out what the customer’s evaluation is, of your performance with
regard to their requirements.
Who should you obtain Customer Satisfaction feedback
primarily the end users of your product, but may also include intermediaries such as assemblers (internal or
external) who integrate your product into theirs, and dealers and distributors who market and sell your product or
the integrated product. You need to consider feedback from all these customers to determine whether or not you have
met their specified and perceived requirements.
What are the customer requirements that the standard is
requirements may relate to the design, manufacture, delivery, servicing and support of product; the quality
management system (QMS); communication and financial requirements; etc. Your organization must have controls to
identify and meet these requirements to the satisfaction of your customers.
You must continually gather information (about these activities), in a manner capable
of being analyzed and evaluated to determine how well you performed them.
What are examples of Customer Satisfaction
There are all
kinds of customer satisfaction performance indicators for design, manufacture, delivery, service and support, etc.
Gather information on these indicators from both the customer as well from internal processes. Examples of useful
Product quality, value and competitiveness; on-time delivery; packaging; competitive
pricing; billing and credit note timeliness and accuracy; timeliness and accuracy of shipping documentation;
timeliness and accuracy of quality documentation; flexibility - order fulfilment cycle-time and ability to handle
emergency orders; reliability of advance shipment notifications; technical capability, support and response;
customer sales, support and response; contract conformity; QMS conformity; handling of customer complaints;
Can one use a rating scale to gauge Customer
have flexibility in what indicators and rating scale they employ. The following is a simple customer response scale
that can be used for each performance indicator or question:
1) very satisfied;
4) dissatisfied; and
5) very dissatisfied.
It is generally useful to ask customers for:
1. Improvement Suggestions:
2. Other Comments:
Depending upon your business and number of customers, you should try out different
rating scales and performance indicators to find a combination that is
What are some acceptable techniques to monitor Customer
should be obtained on both positive and negative feedback to get the full picture of the customers overall
perception of customer satisfaction.
There are many ways to monitor customer satisfaction feedback (positive and
negative). These may include - customer complaints; direct communications with customers; questionnaires and
surveys; using outside agencies to collect and analyze performance data (see clause 8.4); email and website forms,
customer complaints, product returns; trip reports; field and service reports; customer scorecards; focus groups;
recognition awards; reports from consumer organizations; reports in various media; sector and industry
Many customers routinely provide feedback on some of the methods indicated above. You
must continually review this customer feedback to ensure you maintain and improve your customer satisfaction
rating. Customer complaints are a common indicator of low customer satisfaction, but their absence does not
necessarily imply high customer satisfaction.
Even when requirements have been agreed with the customer and fulfilled, this does
not necessarily ensure high customer satisfaction.
should your process for determining Customer Satisfaction include?
You are expected
to have a process that:
· Identifies your customer satisfaction indicators;
· Defines the frequency and cycle time for
· Describes the method of data collection;
· Summarizes of data in a way that it can be used for making
· Reviews and evaluates the data;
· Facilitates actions to improve customer satisfaction
· Defines the responsibility and authority,
· Describes the follow-up method and actions (see 5.6
You must monitor trends in customer satisfaction indicators and use these as a
baseline for continual improvement. You should consider monitoring, both external as well as internal customer
What happens if the Customer Satisfaction process
is performed for your organization by head office or an outside
If any or all of
your customer satisfaction process activities are done off-site, your QMS must include the off-site process within
your QMS and ensure that such processes comply with ISO 9001 requirements.
You must show the interaction with the off-site organization (head office perhaps) in
addressing these requirements and show how customer feedback information from Head office is used by your facility
for continual improvement and enhancing customer satisfaction.
Do we need a documented procedure for the Customer
Clause 8.2.1 does
not require a ‘documented’ procedure for customer satisfaction. However, you should identify and document the
process addressing this clause as part of your QMS (see clause 4.1). You could use a documented procedure or other
combination of specific practices, procedures, documents, methods, controls and resources (see clause 4.2.1d. and
Look at the risks, process complexity and competence of personnel in determining the
extent of documented controls you need to have (also see clause 4.2.1
What are useful indicators to measure the performance
of the Customer Satisfaction process
Performance indicators to measure the effectiveness of the
customer satisfaction may include - improvement in customer feedback ratings; reduction in customer
complaints; increase in the number of customers providing feedback; increase in feedback that leads to QMS
and product improvement opportunities.