ISO 9001 has identified the evaluation of customer satisfaction as one of the key measurements regarding the performance of a company’s quality management system. There are many organizations that consider this a key indicator of corporate health.
The goal of this requirement is to establish if the customer perceives that the company has met their expectations/requirements. As you may guess, this is a very subjective concept – it’s a question of whether the requirements, not the contractual obligations, have been met. Also, this is not a yes/no issue but may have a range over various levels of satisfaction.
In this situation, the term “customer” refers to the end users of the product, assemblers who integrate your product into theirs, as well as your distributors. In order to improve customer satisfaction, you will need to implement some sort of measure tool (i.e. gap analysis). Areas that can be measured include:
- Do we deliver on time?
- Do we always ship complete orders?
- What feedback do we get from sales reps?
- Are your primary customer accounts growing?
- Customer audits and monitoring – if they are favorable, use them as evidence.
Methods that can be used to measure customer satisfaction include: using surveys, providing methods for receiving and responding to customer feedback (both positive and negative), email and/or website forms, customer scorecards, providing suitable processes to monitor trends in customer data, as well as many other methods.
A process must be in place to:
- Identify customer satisfaction indicators
- Define the frequency and cycle time for completing evaluation(s)
- Describe the method(s) your company will use to gather data
- Review and evaluate the data
- Identifies actions to take in order to improve customer satisfaction
- Define which person/department is responsible for gathering the information and who has the authority to act on it
- Describe the method(s) to be used for follow-up and taking necessary actions