Blurb: Retaining existing customers can be a challenge for companies, as they need to both deliver an exceptional customer service experience, and ensure they are adequately addressing customer concerns. By implementing a certified Quality Management System, business’ maximise their chances of continuing to meet the demands of their existing customers, whilst also attracting new ones.
For many business’, success is measured by both attracting new customers, and ensuring that they retain their existing ones by continuing to deliver a high-quality, customer focused, experience. However, what makes this a challenge is that it can be difficult to adequately gauge customer feedback, potential dissatisfaction, and adequately quantify the overall level of customer satisfaction your organisation receives. By implementing the ISO 9001 Quality Management System Standards companies can actively quantify customer satisfaction, develop a system of satisfactorily addressing their issues, and maximise their chances of retaining their existing customers. This article will discuss some important ways a Quality Management System improves customer satisfaction, and helps business’ retain their existing customers.
ISO 9001 clearly defines what customer satisfaction means for companies
The Standards help companies achieve their goal of retaining existing customers by clearly defining what customer satisfaction means to an organisation. It describes customer satisfaction as the “perceptions of the degree to which their expectations have been fulfilled.” It goes on to provide examples of various ways business’ can assess satisfaction, including “customer surveys, feedback on products and services” and meetings with customers.
The Standards help business’ develop strategies to gauge, monitor, and understand customer feedback, and ascertain whether it is meeting the customers’ requirements. If it is determined that it is not, then straightforward processes are in place to rectify the situation, and work towards ensuring that most customers are provided with a positive, satisfactory experience.
The Standards have a clearly defined customer satisfaction metric in place, to be used to help business’ develop a straightforward process for meeting the customer demands. The steps within this process include:
- Conformity: To ensure that customers receive a satisfactory service experience, that either meets or exceeds their expectations, it is necessary to ensure there is a degree of conformity within the customer service experience. This means developing processes to ensure all customers receive a similar service experience, and that there is a degree of uniformity in how customers are treated.
- Degree of customer satisfaction: Business’ need to recognise that there are many different aspects to the customer service experience, which can lead customers to have a wide range of conflicting feelings about their experience, beyond ‘satisfied’ or ‘dissatisfied’. For example, some customers may feel that although the business provided adequate customer service, they did not work at going above and beyond, and thus feel that the business is not distinguishing itself from its competitors, who may offer a more comprehensive experience.
- Planning: To deliver a satisfactory customer service experience, organisations need to develop a comprehensive plan outlining what the main expectations of their customers will be, how the business intends to meet them, how complaints will be handled, how feedback will be gathered, and so on.
The Standards help your business meet customer demands and stay competitive
The Standards help business’ develop information gathering strategies to effectively understand the experience of their existing customers, and then develop methods for ensuring their service delivery remains of the highest quality.
To ensure that a high level of satisfaction is maintained amongst its existing customers, a business should work at developing clear processes for actively monitoring customer satisfaction. The Standards provide an overview of some proven successful ways for achieving this, which can be broken down into distinctive areas, including:
- Surveying existing customers to ascertain their satisfaction levels. By receiving this feedback from a large portion of customers, business’ will be in the best position to understand how their services are viewed by most their customers and ascertain whether there are any significant concerns about their performance.
- Ensuring there is an effective complaint handling process. Customers with significant concerns about their service experience are more likely to continue to frequent the business if they feel that their complaints have been adequately addressed. An effective complaint handling process provides customers with the opportunity to voice their concerns, have them noted down, and be provided with a response that addresses their concerns, within a set time frame.
In short, by implementing a certified Quality Management System your business is taking active steps to improve the overall customer service experience, retain its existing customers, and develop clear processes for handling customer concerns. This demonstrates a commitment to quality and shows customers that your business is mindful of their concerns, and has a commitment to providing a high quality customer experience. This can work at distinguishing an organisation from its competitors.
If you would like to know more about how a Quality Management System can help business’ meet their customer expectations and maximise their chances of retaining their existing customers, then please contact Anitech’s specialist consultants today at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 1300 802 163. By telling them about your business and the kind of customer service experience it provides, they will be able to explain to you how these Standards could be applied across your operations to ensure it delivers the highest quality customer experience, retains your existing customers, and works at ensuring your new customers come back again.
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Please click here to read about how a Quality Management System helps improve business supply chains.