Customer Focus

ISO 9001:2015, clause 5.1, Leadership and Commitment, includes requirements in sub-clause 5.1.2 for Customer Focus. It states that top management must demonstrate leadership and commitment with respect to customer focus by ensuring that:

a) customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements are determined, understood and consistently met;
 
b) the risks and opportunities that can affect conformity of products and services and the ability to enhance customer satisfaction are determined and addressed;
 
c. the focus on enhancing customer satisfaction is maintained.

The aerospace quality standard, AS9100:2016, is based on ISO 9001:2015 and adds an additional customer focus requirement:

d. product and service conformity and on-time delivery performance are measured, and appropriate action is taken if planned results are not, or will not be, achieved.

According to ISO/TS 9002:2016, the intent of the “customer focus” sub-clause is to ensure that top management visibly demonstrates leadership and commitment in maintaining the organization’s focus on meeting customer requirements and enhancing customer satisfaction.

Customers are generally the people or organizations that purchase the organization’s products and services. However, individuals or organizations such as citizens, clients, patients, and students can also be the recipients of the organization’s products and services.

Top management needs to ensure that effective processes are in place to determine customer requirements and legal requirements related to the organization’s products and services, and that these requirements are understood. A focus on delivery performance and customer complaints can provide insights into the actions that might be needed to achieve or improve customer satisfaction.

Top management needs to ensure that actions are implemented to address risks and opportunities, so that expected results are consistently achieved. If not, then a Plan-Do-Check-Act approach should be followed to ensure that responsibilities are assigned for implementing further improvements, until customer needs and expectations are achieved.

Top management can focus on enhancing customer satisfaction by using the results of analysis and evaluation of customer satisfaction data. Using this analysis, top management may direct a change in the customer-related processes and the operations of the organization, including the allocation of resources.