New Focus on Customer Satisfaction

The ISO 9001:2000 standard includes a new requirement to monitor information on customer satisfaction as a key performance measurement for your quality management system. The standard requires that you determine the method for obtaining and using this information. 

Your organization should define the process for requesting, measuring, and monitoring customer feedback on a continual basis. It should address conformance to requirements, meeting customer needs and expectations, as well as, price and product delivery. 

Examples of sources of information include complaints, product returns, questionnaires, surveys, focus groups, and customer scorecards. Since another new requirement calls for implementing arrangements for customer communications, your organization should have a defined process for talking to customers about products, contracts, orders, amendments, inquiries, complaints, and other feedback. 

Independent of ISO 9001, we should already be focusing on customer satisfaction as a basic quality management principle. An article in the September issue of Quality Digest (Measuring and Managing Customer Satisfaction by Kevin Cacioppo) included these interesting facts: 

  • A 5 percent increase in loyalty can increase profits by 25% to 85% 
  • A “very satisfied” customer is nearly six times more likely to be loyal and repurchase and/or recommend your product than a customer who is just “satisfied” 
  • Only 4 percent of dissatisfied customers will complain  
  • The average customer with a problem eventually tells nine other people 
  • Satisfied customers tell five other people about their good treatment 

For more information, see the full article at the Quality Digest web site: