, Agata Lewkowska, customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is essential to the success of the organization. It is a key indicator of organizational monitoring. In the quality management system according to IATF 16949, customer satisfaction has a remarkably high priority. So how to manage it? You will find the answer below.

Customer satisfaction – where does it come from?

One of the principles of the Total Quality Management philosophy is customer orientation. It means that the primary goal of quality management is to meet customer requirements and make efforts to exceed their expectations.

Its success is sustained as the organization gains and maintains the trust of customers and other stakeholders. Every aspect of customer interaction represents an opportunity to create more customer value. Understanding the current and future needs of the client and other stakeholders contributes to the sustained success of the organization.

What are the benefits of customer orientation?

Some of the potential main benefits are:

  • increased customer satisfaction;
  • bigger customer value;
  • increase in customer loyalty;
  • improving the reputation of the organization;
  • expansion of the customer base;
  • increase in revenues and market share.

Customer orientation is also a requirement of ISO 9001: 2015 in clause 5.1.2 and is based on three pillars:

Customer satisfaction – how to increase it?

First, you should focus on the following activities:

  • recognizing direct and indirect customers as getting value from the organization;
  • understanding the current and future needs and expectations of customers;
  • linking the goals of the organization with the needs and expectations of customers;
  • communicating the needs and expectations of customers throughout the organization;
  • planning, design, development, production, delivery and support of products and services to meet the needs and expectations of customers;
  • measuring and monitoring customer satisfaction and taking appropriate action;
  • identifying and taking action on the needs and expectations of interested parties that may affect customer satisfaction;
  • proactively managing customer relationships to achieve lasting success.

What are the requirements of a certified quality management system?

ISO 9001: 2015 states in clause 9.1.2 those methods should be established for obtaining, monitoring, and reviewing information regarding the degree of fulfillment of customer needs and expectations.

Additionally, he gives examples of monitoring customer perception:

  • customer satisfaction survey,
  • feedback from the customer about the delivered product,
  • meetings with clients,
  • market share analysis,
  • complaints,
  • warranty claims,
  • traders’ reports.

If we are talking about a system based on the IATF 16949: 2016 standard, customer satisfaction should be monitored through the continuous assessment of internal and external performance indicators.

This monitoring should be based on objective evidence and based on indicators:

  • the quality results of the delivered part,
  • disruptions at customers,
  • market returns, return campaigns, warranty returns (if applicable),
  • implementation of the delivery schedule (including special transports,
  • customer notifications of quality or delivery problems, including special status. 

Additionally, you should monitor the results of your production processes to demonstrate compliance with customer requirements for product quality and process efficiency.

Monitoring includes an overview of customer performance data including customer web portals and customer scorecards where provided.

Get your own template to monitor customer satisfaction!

I encourage you to download the template to monitor customer satisfaction that I have prepared for you. You can use it in your work by editing it as you like.

Hope you found this article interesting.

Thank you for your presence.

Agata Lewkowska Ph.D.

PS. If I can help you with quality management issues, please contact me. You may also join me in my private group on Facebook: ISO 9001 & IATF 16949 QualityWise Group.

The article is based on:

IATF 16949: 2016 Requirements for quality management systems in serial production and the production of spare parts in the automotive industry, 1st edition, 2016

ISO 9000:2015 Quality management system – Fundamentals and vocabulary

ISO 9001:2015 Quality management systems – Requirements

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