In ISO 9001:2015 clause 9.1.2 refers, which requires the business to show how it monitors customer satisfaction.
There are many ways to achieve this task. A lot of businesses choose to send out a questionnaire asking several questions on how the customer felt about a particular service or product. Upon receipt a score is generally calculated giving an overall performance of customer perception.
Unfortunately in most cases the response rate is very poor, and the quality of the data is spurious. From experience, customers either send back saying everything is wonderful (even though some cases there are underlying issues) or depending if they have had a particular bad experience, they only return the form berating the company (possibly rightly so !).
Alternative ways to be considered for monitoring customer satisfaction may be as follows :-
- Repeat business, – is the company retaining its core customers, are the sales figures still growing, or is there a decline in orders, are customers trying to tell you something ?
- Customer complaints – This is one of the most obvious ways of monitoring customer satisfaction. Do you record all of the negative feedback (better known as a complaint, but we don’t always see it as a complaint). Are there any trends that have been identified, have you fed back information to the customer or have you ignored the obvious?
- Warranty claims – If you offer a product with a warranty, how many claims are made ? Is the same issue reported ?, is there a design problem? Is it just one customer complaining or are there several?
- Telephone interview – when talking to customers, it might be useful to ask a few questions at the end of the conversation about their experience when using the services of the company, and if they feel there are areas that can be improved.
- Positive feedback, compliments, emails, recommendations from customers, always a useful method of seeing what the company is good at.
- Meetings (face to face) – discuss business particularly areas of weakness and strengths.
As you can see, there are lots of ways of monitoring customer satisfaction, and if it is done correctly the information obtained can prove to be extremely useful, and can drive improvements within the business.
Don’t forget, the questions you ask customers can be about health and safety, quality or any other pertinent area of the business services
Finally, there is little point in monitoring customer perception if you do not use the information that is obtained. So as part of your monitoring, measurement, analysis and evaluation clause 9.0 refers, do something with the data to improve your quality management system.
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