ACE of diamonds
There are 13 references in the ISO 9001: 2015 Standard regarding enhancing Customers’ Satisfaction. Customer focus is #1 of the 7 Quality Management Principles and in fact it is Top Management’s responsibility to demonstrate leadership and commitment to this. I like what Ryan Holiday says in his book “Perennial Seller” when designing or producing a product or service always be thinking of what the customer wants. It’s to be reminded that customers want service and overall value. This is why we are linking the Ace of diamonds to all of the 13 references to enhancing customers’ satisfaction. When you think of diamonds they are charms, stones of great value and they last forever.
Back in the Beginning
Remember when you and your management team started the business and the intent of working with that first customer and how proud and eager your company was to work for them, but to serve their needs. As the services and products were provided, did your team think through what went well and what could be improved upon for the next delivery. Reclaim that sense of wanting to do better and offer more value, but it comes with asking the question what do these look like to the customer. Last week, we started with the Ace of hearts and which is a lot about what is your company about and top of what your company is about is about who your customer is. Then with this what is their top needs.
Measuring Customer Satisfaction
Measuring customer satisfaction is one of 34 references to what is to be monitored. The ISO 9001 Standard added the word perception back in the 2000 version and this is to be monitored. Monitoring meaning to the degree to which their needs and expectations have been filled. The most popular methods to doing this by surveys. We suggest making your surveys simple so that they can be quickly filled out, but with nuggets of feedback. Other examples the Standard has as notes to capture this information is to get customer feedback on delivered products and services, meetings with customers, market-share analysis, compliments, warranty claims and dealer reports. I like what Beth Comstock says in her book “Imagine it Forward” gather feedback from everyone, not only customers, but employees (how do they think the company is serving the customer), suppliers (what could be improved upon), partners, and even stretching to competitors and then even the public. Now with social media this is becoming more readily available. Ultimately, the customer is the judge on if your company has enhanced satisfaction so have this be a direct question on the survey or see from trends of the surveys.
Guarantee to Enhancing Customers’ Satisfaction
Ensure that every employee knows how important this is by addressing in the Quality Policy and as a key measurable objective. The results of measuring has to be reported at the management review and trends should be visible. Opportunities for improvement in regards to enhancing customers’ satisfaction have to determined and selected. This can be done by improving lead times, adding product features based on feedback and by also improving customer service. What ever opportunities are selected be sure to formalize in the Risk and Opportunities program. Think through how robust your company’s efforts are in enhancing customers’ satisfaction. Could you be asking your customers more directly how to service them better?
The best results is when customers refer your company to their trusted contacts.