4 Jul, 2017
Creating happy clients with ISO 9001.
We all know that clients and customers are the lifeblood of any business. Without clients, there would be no business. Happy clients not only buy from you, they buy more from you and they refer others to you who in turn buy more from you. The simple objective of any business therefore must be to keep clients happy. It is vital that every single member of staff within a business – from the MD to the cleaner – understands this objective.
But the key question is how do we keep clients happy?
There are many theories out there about how this can be done but ultimately it can be summarised in this simple graphic:
Well, it’s simple really. The key objective of ISO 9001 is to satisfy clients effectively and consistently so that they have a rewarding experience with you.
It does this in a number of ways:
Client relations are within the remit of everyone within a business. But by giving leaders within a business responsibility for client relations, a better understanding of client needs/requirements can be established at the outset. This will help to ensure that those requirements can be met so that ultimately you have a happy client at the end of the process. We will be focusing on leadership with ISO 9001 in a future blog.
One of the main problems many businesses have is controlling consistency of delivery of service. This can be the source of many issues for clients. One of the reason chains of businesses are so successful is because they aim for consistency of service delivery – think of John Lewis for example. But it is not out of the reach of SMEs to have a sufficient degree of operational control over processes, change management, design, development controls and training (to name but a few) to be able to create consistency of delivery. The more effective operational controls a business has in place, the easier it is to provide a consistently excellent service to your client. ISO 9001 helps you put these operational controls in place.
Sometimes client issues arise as a result of matters outside of your control with your third party suppliers. ISO 9001 can help you put processes in place to better control your relations with third party supplies which in turn help you manage your relationship with your client and indeed improve the service you offer to your own clients.
We are all human and humans make mistakes – it’s only natural. Most clients, save for the most unreasonable, accept this perfectly natural facet of human (and business) nature. However, clients will often measure a good business by how they deal with problems and complaints. A disgruntled client can often be rescued with careful management of a problem. ISO 9001 enables businesses to put processes in place to a) minimise the risk of complaints and problems in the first place but b) to help businesses evaluate and take action on problems both to immediately resolve the issue at hand and to prevent the situation arising in the future.
In essence therefore, every aspect of satisfying ISO 9001 has an effect on your client and ultimately your relationship with them.
It is a systematic and process driven approach to managing your business which is designed to support your business in ensuring you meet the needs of your clients.
It is focused on helping you deliver a consistent level of quality and satisfaction.
It will help you feel more in control.
It will help everyone in your organisation be clear about what they do and give them the ability and (importantly) the authority to resolve problems quickly and effectively.
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