IS0 9001:2015

Clause 9.1.2 Customer satisfaction

ISO 9001:2015 requires organisations to monitor customer’s perceptions of the degree to which their needs and expectations have been met. It is up to the organisation itself to determine the methods to be used for obtaining, monitoring and reviewing (using) this information.

The standard goes on to list some examples of potential monitoring methods including customer surveys, customer feedback on delivered products and services, meetings with customers, market-share analysis, compliments, warranty claims and dealer reports.


Note that Organisations must demonstrate evaluation as well as analysis of customer satisfaction data (See also article 9.1.3 Analysis and evaluation.)

Although there is no specific requirement that this analysis and evaluation must be documented, organisations will still need to demonstrate how this is executed (IE: frequency and method of data collection,) also, what it does with the data. As a minimum, this must form part of the Input into Management Reviews. (See article 9.3 Management Review.)

Note: For many Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C) model organisations, the customer is the end user. However, numerous businesses also deal with stockists, distributers and dealers who are all customers in their own right and should therefore be considered in this process.

Although the standard cites examples of how this data may be obtained, none are mandatory. Indeed it is vital that each organisation determines the most appropriate measures for its unique circumstances and organisational context. IE:

  • The organisation’s size and the complexity of its products and / or services
  • The range and nature of its customers
  • Risks associated with the products and /or services
  • Any changes planned or in progress which may impact on customer’s perception of the organisation or its products or services. EG: New product ranges, processes, systems or business restructuring etc.

  • Other examples of inputs into the process might include:

  • Product returned by the customer expressed as Parts Per Million (PPM) or % rejected

  • Corrective Action Requests received and time taken to resolve

  • Concessions requested

  • Customer queries / clarification requests received

  • Customer audit feedback

  • On time delivery metrics

  • Repeat business

  • Requests for feedback during normal communication with the customer, either by telephone or email

  • Unsolicited, spontaneous feedback received – “a job well done”

  • Post service or delivery of product, follow up

  • Independent market research

  • Market-share analysis

Organisations operating predominantly in the service sector (such as shops, restaurants and hotels) may utilise face to face evaluation at the point of sale.

Note: Although email customer questionnaires or surveys are commonplace for requesting feedback due to the ease of generation and evaluation, implement with care… Busy customers bombarded with such requests from multiple suppliers and service providers often do not have the time to respond, possibly resulting in skewed data. As a further consequence, this may even may even have a negative impact on the beleaguered customer’s perceptions of the organisation submitting the request!

Whilst the standard is looking to establish that organisations are monitoring their customers perceptions and taking action accordingly, these should be considered minimum requirements. A more pro-active approach of working with customers at all stages of the planning and execution of services is what world-class organisations are able to demonstrate. (See also article 8.3.3 Design & Development Inputs.)

Audit Check:

Auditors are being advised to review customer feedback as a process, not as a standalone clause. IE: To assess how the overall process is managed and that the output provides meaningful data on which to then base decisions. It will be expected that Management Review considers Customer Satisfaction metrics, analysis and evaluation as part of the organisations improvement culture. (See article 9.1.3 - Analysis and Evaluation.)

Be prepared also to be able to demonstrate that you have established (and acted on), the degree to which the customer(s) perceive the organisation has met their needs and expectations.

This article is the property of David Barker Consulting © and is free for you to use. If you wish to reproduce elsewhere, please be so kind as to ask permission first and credit me as your source. If you need any further assistance, feel free to use my contacts page to get in touch and let me know how I can help!

David Barker CQP MCQI

ISO 9001:2015

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