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Customer Satisfaction – What the Standard Says


ISO 9001:1994 had two clauses directly relevant to customer-related processes:
Clause 4.3: Contract Review and Clause 4.7: Customer-Supplied Product.

In the new Standard, both clauses have been renamed and edited, but the underlying requirements are basically unchanged.

The corresponding clauses in ISO 9001:2000 are 7.2.2 — Review of Customer Requirements and 7.5.3 — Customer Property.

Additionally, there are new clauses relevant to customer-related processes:

Clause 5.1, obliges the top (executive) management to communicate to the organization the importance of meeting customer requirements.

Clause 5.2 requires that “customer requirements are determined and are met with the aim of enhancing customer satisfaction”

Clause 5.5.2 adds a new responsibility for the Management Representative to promote awareness of customer requirements throughout the organization.

Clause 5.6.2 requires that “input to management review shall include information on
b) customer feedback”

Clause 5.6.3 requires that “output from the management review shall include any decisions and actions related to:
b) improvement of product related to customer requirements”

Clause 6.1 “determine and provide the resources needed
to enhance customer satisfaction by meeting customer requirements”

Clause 7.2.1 obliges organizations to determine customer requirements, to include those that are not specified but are necessary for use or compliance with laws and regulations.

The corresponding clauses in ISO 9001:2000 are 7.2.2 — Review of Customer Requirements and 7.5.4 — Customer Property.

Clause 7.2.3 requires that planned arrangements be implemented for communicating with customers regarding product information; enquiries, contracts or order handling; and customer feedback, including customer complaints.

Clause 7.4.3 “ensure that purchased product meets specified purchase requirements”

Clause 8.2.1 requires that we“monitor information relating to customer perception as to whether the organization has met customer requirements”

Clause 8.4 “analysis of data shall provide information relating to
a) customer satisfaction”
b) conformity to product requirements”

Clause 8.5.2 “define requirements for,
a) reviewing nonconformities (including customer complaints)”

Together, these clauses seem to demonstrate that the standard now requires organizations to include in the quality system all departments and functions that deal with and represent customers. Typically, these would include marketing, sales, customer service, billing and servicing. Once this intent is understood and accepted, interpretation and implementation of all underlying requirements will follow naturally. Like everyone else in the system, these functions must develop effective methods and processes, document them in procedures, and maintain records of their activities.

There will be a lot of resistance to such a sweeping interpretation in many companies. Marketing and sales people genuinely care about the quality of the product or service they sell, but they don't necessarily see their own work as being directly relevant to quality. Many engineers had this kind of adverse reaction when ISO 9000 asked them to define their methods and write procedures for the design and development process.

We would like to thank Jim Wade, Advanced Training Southern Ltd, for his input in evaluating the Standard.

For further information, contact:

ISO 2000 Worldwide Ltd
+44 (0) 1249 460101
[email protected]


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