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ISO9001 and The Customer Experience

A lot of the time when you ask companies about their ISO9000 compliance they are ever so eager to show you their quality statistics, the Xbar charts and a multitude of other charts, talk about their outgoing and incoming quality checks and of course customer returns levels. All of which is great, but that's only a part of ISO9000 and some would argue not the major part of it.

Of the 7 (yes 7!) Quality Management principles the very 1st one is to have a customer focus, right there at number 1, not stuck in the middle of the list or the end of a list as an "Oh by the way you should maybe have a think about the customer focus". It's number 1! So is it a surprise that it is so critical in ISO9000? 

What is the Customer Experience?

If you think about companies having a customer focus a number spring to mind: South West Airlines, Walt Disney and of course Apple. What's the theme here.. they all have a major focus on the customer or to be more precise the customer experience, (now with the trendy handle of CX). Customer experience is defined as " the product of an interaction between an organization and a customer over the duration of their relationship" or so Wikipedia thinks but it does fit the theme really.

So confession time, I'm an android fan, not an Apple fan, my head just doesn't seem to get their software however I can fully appreciate that people who love Apple really really really love Apple. This is a company that puts the customer first, every time, and is rewarded with enormous loyalty.

The QMS Impact

So with that in mind lets just for a minute consider the impact of every part of your quality management system on your current & potential customers. Yep, that's' right, every part. You need to begin the process by being very clear about knowing who your customers actually are, both internal and external to your organisation, only then can you begin really getting into the detail

Think about it like this as you begin creating or reviewing your own Quality Management System (QMS). Some of the questions that need to be discussed, argued over and analysed are:

  • When developing our products ask yourselves "who is the customer for this product?"
  • When supporting the product consider "what is the customer asking?" Do you really understand their request or frustration?
  • When building the product you need to determine "what is it your customer needs?"
  • During inductions to your company of every single staff member you need to talk about "what will make you successful in the eyes of the customer?"
  • Map out every potential touchpoint / interaction you will have with the customer and ask, "what can we do to make this the very best experience possible" 

Who owns the Customer Experience?

Leaving the poor marketing department to focus on creating the 'customer experience' isn't something you can afford to do, they can't run interference with customers while you focus on calibration, training and perhaps safety. The customer must be at the heart of every decision you as a QMS professional makes. You need to think how will our systems enhance the customer experience? How will every person in our organisation contribute to that experience, how will Dave in the call centre enhance it, what about Sam on the production line or Brenda in the delivery truck? Everyone can raise or lower the customer experience.

Once you've worked out what the requirements of the customer are, you can then build that into your quality management system, your training and your business culture, not forgetting of course doing what ISO talks about, which is striving to exceed customer expectations.

Think about a time when a company has exceeded your expectations, did that achieve a higher level of customer satisfaction in you?

Consider this, in a number of surveys the following theme is clear, customer experience will surpass price and product as the key brand differentiator by the year 2020.

Consider this, in a number of surveys the following theme is clear, customer experience will surpass price and product as the key brand differentiator by the year 2020.

Some Things To Think About

  1. Invest the time you need to really identify your customers with all of your teams (both internal and external).
  2. Figure out the customer's requirements for each area of the company are.
  3. Over Communicate those customer requirements throughout the organization so that everyone knows about it and what their part in the process is.
  4. Start to measure customer satisfaction, make it a key part of your business intelligence system

Get In Touch

If you would like to talk more about defining or improving your Customer Experience & integrating it into your QMS then click here to make an appointment and find out how we can help you Make Things, Better

You can also call John on 0211649739 to set up a meeting 

Virtual Quality Management

Did you know that many Caps Consulting offers a Virtual Quality Management Service that will help you in your process management and any other Quality management area/ Check out the information below. 

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Virtual Quality Management - Talking Points

We are excited to launch our new Virtual Quality Management Service. We have partnered with the outstanding team at Mango to be able to deliver the best compliance support service available. Talk to us now about how we can reduce your compliance costs.

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Monday, 20 May 2019

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