Mr. Rogers Neighborhood
I often find myself quoting the late, great, Mr. Rogers (paraphrase) "...it’s OK to be angry, it’s what you do with your anger that matters". At salesEQUITY, we have a similar saying, "It’s OK to survey your customers (in fact you should), it's what you do with your customer feedback data that matters". Stay with me. I know you’re thinking, what does Mr. Rogers and customer satisfaction surveys have to do with ISO 9001 compliance regulations? A lot. From my perspective, and in fact at salesEQUITY we see this a lot, anyone can survey their customers. More often than not in one fashion or another, you do. Whether real time and in person, over the phone, or via email, businesses today are conducting some type of customer satisfaction survey. But what you do with that data, and in most cases, what you’re not doing with the feedback data, matters!
More often than not though, you’re checking a box. Senior leadership has mandated one of the core KPIs for the upcoming year is for someone (anyone), and usually it’s marketing, to execute a customer satisfaction survey.
As mentioned in the Measuring customer satisfaction with new ISO technical specification newsletter, “Customer satisfaction is one of the key elements for the success of an organization, whether in public or private sector.” Yet, very few organizations get the “customer satisfaction” part of the survey right. In fact, we have another saying around here, “Customer satisfaction is dead”. With 97% of most businesses today being small business, resources are tight – really tight. Marketing is wearing more hats, in fact everyone is, and executing a customer satisfaction survey; while you know is the right thing to do, is often the last thing you have time for. Now, add a layer of compliance to this and you’re really under the gun.
ISO 9001 Quality measurments
With ISO 9001 Requirements Clause 9.1.2 Customer Satisfaction survey deadline just around the corner (September 2018), it’s no longer just a matter of surveying your customers, but actually doing something with this survey data:
- Clause 9.1.2 requires an organization to monitor customers’ perception of the degree to which their needs and expectations have been fulfilled. The organization shall determine the methods for obtaining, monitoring and reviewing this information.
- Clause 5.1.2 requires that the focus on enhancing customer satisfaction is maintained.
- Clause 8.2.1.c requires an organization to have communication with customers to obtain feedback relating to products and services, including complaints.
- Clause 9.1.3.b requires the organization to obtain, monitor, measure, analyze and evaluate the degree of customer satisfaction.
- And clause 9.3.2.c.1 requires that top management review customer satisfaction as part of their overall QMS review
- Customer satisfaction (feedback) is a tool (required by the standard) to gauge the health of your QMS, by measuring the degree of satisfaction customers have with your organization and its products from the customer’s point of view. You want to find out what the customer’s evaluation is, of your performance with regard to their requirements.
You’re also expected to have a process that:
- Identifies your customer satisfaction indicators
- Defines the frequency and cycle time for completion
- Describes the method of data collection
- Summarizes of data in a way that it can be used for making decisions
- Reviews and evaluates the data
- Facilitates actions to improve customer satisfaction feedback
Understanding the Buyer Perception
So what does all this mean? Well, for starters if you’re completing an annual survey, great! If, like most people I speak with, you just haven’t had the time to analyze the data, determine if there are any trends, and then summarize and communicate the data to key stake holders, like sales, marketing, and those within your organization responsible for customer success, then you’re not alone.
Surveying your customers is one thing. Truly understanding what drives and motivates your customers, the buyer's perception of your product and service, and keeps them not only satisfied, but also loyal, is another. Whether or not you use our customer experience management tool is irrelevant (it really is) because as I said earlier in this post, what you do with your customer-feedback data is what matters. Using a customer experience management will only benefit your customers and ultimately customers in general (and aren't we all customers?). Meeting compliance requirements? Well, that's the icing on the cake, because maybe, just maybe, in the end customer satisfaction won’t be dead.
Register for our upcoming webinar:
Compliant or Committed? How to Make the Most of Your ISO Customer Satisfaction Surveys
Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. ET