ISO 9001 -Clause 8.2.1 Customer Communication

by Elina D

Clause 8.2.1 Customer Communication

Clause 8.2.1 of ISO 9001:2015 requires an organisation to establish, implement and maintain procedures for internal and external communication regarding the quality management system (QMS).
The procedures for customer communication should be documented and included in the QMS. They should be available to all employees who have contact with customers.

Customer Communication

There are several benefits of effective customer communication, including improved customer satisfaction, stronger relationships, and increased sales. It can also help to build trust and confidence in the organisation and its products and services.

 Organisations should ensure that their procedures for customer communication are effective and meet the needs of the customers. They should also review and update these procedures regularly to ensure they remain fit for purpose.

The requirements specified in clause 8.2.1 of ISO 9001:2015 are intended to ensure that the organisation establishes, implements, and maintains procedures for communicating with customers to obtain feedback on customer satisfaction.

The organisation should also ensure that customer feedback is used to improve the organisation's products and services.
Organisations should note that the requirements in clause 8.2.1 are generic and therefore applicable to any type of customer communication, including but not limited to:

  • Inquiries
  • Complaints
  • Contract reviews
  • Customer feedback
  • Customer surveys
  • Customer satisfaction measurement

To effectively implement the requirements of clause 8.2.1, organisations should consider the following:

  • The types of customer communication that take place
  • The processes for handling customer communication
  • The methods for gathering customer feedback
  • The procedures for using customer feedback to improve products and services.

      

Customer Communication

Step 1 - Determine a strategy for obtaining customer feedback

To ensure that your quality management system (QMS) is constantly improving, it is important to obtain feedback from your customers regularly. There are several different ways to do this, and the most effective method will vary depending on your specific business and customer base.

Here are a few tips to help you determine the best strategy for obtaining customer feedback in your QMS:
Use customer surveys.

  1. Hold focus groups or individual interviews.
  2. Use social media to solicit feedback.
  3. Use customer satisfaction
  4. Monitor customer complaints.
  5. Use third-party research firms.
  6. Conduct internal audits.
  7. Use data from your customer relationship management (CRM) system.
  8. Use data from your quality management system (QMS).

By following these tips, you can develop an effective strategy for obtaining customer feedback that will help you improve your QMS and better serve your customers.

Step 2 - Identify your customer satisfaction indicators feedback

ISO 9001, QMS 9001

To ensure that customers are satisfied with your product or service, it is important to establish customer satisfaction indicators (CSIs). CSIs are a way of measuring whether customers are happy with what they have received.
Several factors can be taken into. account when establishing CSIs. These include quality, delivery, price, and customer service. It is important to ensure that the indicators you choose are relevant to your business and will give you an accurate picture of customer satisfaction.

To identify your customer satisfaction indicators, you need to understand what your customers want and need from your product or service. This means understanding their pain points and what would make them happy. Once you have this information, you can establish CSIs that will help you measure and improve customer satisfaction.

There are several ways to collect this; information, including surveys, interviews, and focus groups. You can also use data from your customer service team, as they will be in direct contact with customers and will be able to give you insights into their needs and wants.

Step 3 - Obtain your customer feedback

To ensure that your quality management system (QMS) is continuously improving, you need to obtain feedback from your customers regularly. This feedback can come in the form of customer satisfaction surveys, customer complaints, or customer comments

The information you gather from your customers will help you identify areas where your QMS needs to be improved. It will also help you develop corrective and preventive actions to address these issues.

To obtain feedback from your customers, you need to establish a process for doing so. This process should be documented in your QMS. The following are the steps you need to take to establish a process for obtaining customer feedback in your QMS.

  1. Establish a process for collecting customer feedback.
  2. Train your employees on how to collect customer feedback.
  3. Collect customer feedback regularly.
  4. Analyze the feedback you receive.
  5. Use the information you obtain to improve your QMS.

Customer, Statutory & Regulatory Requirements

Statutory and regulatory requirements can be defined as the specific legal obligations that a company must adhere to operate in a particular country or region. These requirements are typically set by government agencies or other authoritative bodies.

In contrast, customer requirements refer to the specific needs and expectations that a company’s customers have regarding the products or services that they purchase.
Finally, quality management system (QMS) requirements are the specific guidelines and standards that a company must follow to implement an effective quality management system.

Statutory and regulatory requirements for ISO 9001 certification include:

  1. The company must have a documented quality management system in place that meets the requirements of the ISO 9001 standard.
  2. The company must implement and maintain the quality management system by the ISO 9001 requirements.
  3. The company must demonstrate its ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.
  4. The company must periodically assess its performance to ensure that the quality management system is effective and continually improving.

Risk & Opportunities impacting Conformity

The explanations of risks and opportunities impacting conformity in QMS 9001 affect the organisation's ability to improve product quality, reduce customer complaints, and enhance customer satisfaction. A risk is a potential problem that could arise from an adverse event. An opportunity is a potential benefit that could be gained from a positive event.

A well-run organisation will manage risks and opportunities impacting conformity to make continual improvements in product quality and customer satisfaction. Managing risks and opportunities helps the organisation to proactively identify potential issues and avoid them or take advantage of potential benefits.
There are a variety of risks and opportunities that can impact conformity in QMS 9001.

Some of these include:

Risks:

  • Lack of Conformity to Customer Requirements - If an organisation does not have a clear understanding of customer requirements, it may struggle to meet those requirements. This could lead to customer dissatisfaction and decreased sales.
  • Lack of Standardisation - Without standardised processes in place, it can be difficult to ensure conformity across all products and services. This can lead to inconsistency in quality, which may frustrate customers and damage the reputation of the organisation.
  • Poorly Trained Staff - If employees are not properly trained on quality policies and procedures, they may make mistakes that result in non-conforming products or services. This can lead to customer complaints and decreased satisfaction.

Opportunities:

  • The ability to treat upcoming problems positively and make the best of them. The aim is to improve the chances that advancement or improvement will occur by better preparation for these opportunities.
  • Strong Customer relationships – It helps with providing more resources and maintaining existing customers rather than finding new ones who are less expensive.
  • Improved Processes – Having a quality self-audit allows for improvements to be made if their uncontrolled processes towards achieving the standards required
  • Increased Efficiencies – When implementing controls too often it can lead to increased efficiency of employees, ensuring methods are always up to date and done correctly on time to avoid penalties going forward Established.
  • Quality Management System - A well-developed QMS provides framework purposes and may reduce risks when changes due get introduced.

ISO 27001, ISMS 27001