Codes of Conduct

ISO 10001:2018, Quality management – Customer satisfaction – Guidelines for codes of conduct for organizations, is available.

This second edition of ISO 10001 states that maintaining a high-level of customer satisfaction is a significant challenge for many organizations. One way of meeting this challenge is to put in place and use a customer satisfaction code of conduct.

A customer satisfaction code of conduct consists of promises and related provisions that address issues such as product and service delivery, product returns, handling of personal information of customers, advertising, and stipulations concerning product and service attributes or performance.

A customer satisfaction code of conduct can be part of an effective approach to complaints management, which involves:

1. Complaints prevention, by making use of an appropriate customer satisfaction code of conduct;
2. Internal complaints handling, for instances when expressions of dissatisfaction are received;
3. External dispute resolution, for situations in which complaints cannot be satisfactorily dealt with internally.

The standard provides guidance to assist an organization in determining that its customer satisfaction code provisions meet customer needs and expectations, and that the customer satisfaction code is accurate and not misleading. Its use can:

1. Enhance fair trade practices and customer confidence in the organization;
2. Improve customer understanding of what to expect from the organization in terms of its products and services and relations with customers, thereby reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings and complaints;
3. Potentially decrease the need for new regulations governing the organization’s conduct towards its customers.

The satisfaction of persons or organizations that could or do receive a product or a service from a public or a private organization is the focus of ISO 10001:2018.

ISO 10001:2018

The standard gives guidelines for planning, designing, developing, implementing, maintaining and improving customer satisfaction codes of conduct.

It is intended for use by any organization regardless of its type or size, or the products and services it provides, including organizations that design customer satisfaction codes of conduct for use by other organizations. Annex C gives guidance specifically for small businesses.

The standard is aimed at customer satisfaction codes of conduct concerning individual customers purchasing or using goods, property, or services for personal or household purposes, although it is applicable to all customer satisfaction codes of conduct.

This document does not prescribe the substantive content of customer satisfaction codes of conduct, nor does it address other types of codes of conduct, such as those that relate to the interaction between an organization and its personnel, or between an organization and its suppliers.

The 22-page standard can be ordered from for $138.00 (member price is $110.40). Or, it can be ordered from for about $118.00.

Table of Contents

1. Scope
2. Normative references
3. Terms and definitions

4. Guiding principles
4.1 General
4.2 Commitment
4.3 Capacity
4.4 Transparency
4.5 Accessibility
4.6 Responsiveness
4.7 Information integrity
4.8 Accountability
4.9 Improvement
4.10 Confidentiality
4.11 Customer-focused approach
4.12 Competence
4.13 Timeliness

5. Code framework
5.1 Context of the organization
5.2 Establishment
5.3 Integration

6. Planning, design, and development
6.1 Determine code objectives
6.2 Gather and assess information
6.3 Obtain and assess input from relevant interested parties
6.4 Prepare code
6.5 Prepare performance indicators
6.6 Prepare code procedures
6.7 Prepare internal and external communication plan
6.8 Determine resources needed

7. Implementation

8. Maintenance and improvement
8.1 Collection of information
8.2 Evaluation of code performance
8.3 Evaluation of the satisfaction with the code
8.4 Review of the code and code framework
8.5 Continual improvement

Annex A: Simplified examples of components of codes for different organizations
Annex B: Interrelationship of this document with ISO 10002, ISO 10003, and ISO 10004
Annex C: Guidance for small businesses
Annex D: Guidance on accessibility
Annex E: Guidance on input from interested parties
Annex F: Code framework
Annex G: Guidance on adopting a code provided by another organization
Annex H: Guidance on preparing the code
Annex I: Guidance on preparing communication plans