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15 Jan, 2021
As we navigate the fallout of COVID-19, we have seen significant changes in the way businesses operate along with changes to our customers’ needs and expectations. Going forward, this will continue to evolve and like everything else at present, be a little unpredictable. It is therefore more vital than ever to put your customer first if you are to survive these difficult times. Understanding your customers’ needs, expectations and experience will help you achieve this.
A key focus of an ISO 9001 Quality Management System is customer satisfaction and ensuring your products and services meet your customers’ needs. Here are five great ways ISO 9001 can help you achieve this:
1. You will monitor and analyse your customer satisfaction
A requirement of the standard is that you monitor information that relates to your customer to determine if their needs and expectations have been met. This puts a huge emphasis on making sure your clients are indeed satisfied.
You can conduct customer satisfaction surveys in a variety of ways but here at ISO Quality Services, we use the NPS model (Net Promoter Score) as an indicator.
NPS surveys are short and easy to fill in. The survey includes questions such as ‘how likely are you to recommend our services on a scale of 1-10’. This then gives you an NPS score which tells you how happy your customers are with the service you provide.
Other ways you could check in on your customers is by asking them questions over the phone, using social media or following up on a recent purchase by email.
2. You will monitor non-conformances
As part of the standard, you will be required to monitor non-conformances raised in all areas of the business which are critical for continual improvement.
A non-conformance is anything that has happened that shouldn’t have such as an issue with an internal process, a supplier’s performance or a customer complaint.
By logging non-conformances, you will be able to identify trends and take corrective action. This could help you avoid receiving a customer complaint through earlier identification and handling of a problem. In addition, you will save time and money on recurring problems and increase your resource efficiency.
3. You will hold regular Management Review Meetings (MRM)
An MRM is a meeting scheduled at planned intervals to discuss the core elements of your management system. This increases team awareness of any changes, revisions, updates, policies, activities, and opportunities for improvement.
During these meetings, management will discuss topics such as non-conformances and the corrective action status and customer feedback. This helps the team identify where improvements are needed in order to improve processes and overall customer satisfaction.
4. You will assess your risk and opportunities as part of your planning
Taking a more pro-active stance on risk is a big part of your ISO 9001 certification and allows you to be more proactive rather than reactive in terms of your strategic planning.
As with non-conformances, it is worth seeing risks as an opportunity for improvement rather than as a negative towards your business. Identifying and analysing these opportunities and risks will help assure the consistency of your products and services ensuring you continue to meet your customers’ needs and expectations.
5. You will have improved communications
Engaged employees have a positive attitude towards their work and are more likely to go above and beyond to meet their customers’ needs. But how do you engage employees? Communication is the key.
ISO 9001 will help you implement an effective two-way communication strategy. It will ensure all processes and procedures are up to date and that information is passed on to all relevant parties. For example, raising a non-conformance that can be reviewed in the MRM or talking through the company objectives in the weekly team meeting.
Want to understand your customers better with ISO 9001?
Obtaining the certification is a great way to provide reassurance to your customers and suppliers that you put your customers at the heart of what you do. Find out more in our FREE online module.
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