The ISO9001 Quality Management Standard refers to:
“monitor(ing) customers’ perceptions of the degree to which their needs and expectations have been fulfilled” (Section 9.1.2).
“taking into consideration customer satisfaction and feedback” (Section 9.3.2 c3).
But what exactly does it mean?
What is Feedback?
There are two basic dictionary definitions for feedback:
- Information about reactions to a product, a person’s performance of a task, etc. which is used as a basis for improvement.
- A screeching or humming sound resulting from the return of a fraction of the output signal from an amplifier, microphone, or another device to the input of the same device.
It’s pretty obvious, of course, that the Quality Management Standard is referring to the first of these definitions.
It’s about gathering information from customers, staff, suppliers, and any other interested parties who might use or experience the products or services you (or your organisation) provide. Then, using that information in a structured and organised process to maintain or improve the quality of those products or services.
How To Use Feedback
Unfortunately, there are organisations that regard customer feedback along the lines of the second of the definitions. That is, as a screeching or humming sound. They will go out of their way to minimise or, even worse, ignore it. Not least because it inevitably indicates some form of customer complaint.
The Standard actually suggests examples of customer feedback that could be sampled. These include customer surveys, meetings, compliments, warranty claims and dealer reports. In other words, feedback doesn’t just mean measuring customer complaints and minimising them (or stopping the screeching!). Instead, actually seeking some positive, constructive feedback from customers which can be used to meet the other overall requirement of the Standard…continual improvement.
Work with Us
At Performance Plus we help our clients to design and implement simple and straightforward ways to measure and record customer feedback. This means they both satisfy the requirements of the Standard and also continually improve their products and services.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01284 330400 if you would like more information on this or anything else to do with ISO Standards.