Customer satisfaction is key to the success of your business. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a service-based industry, B2B or a small retailer, your success boils down to delivering high-quality products and services that meet customer needs and expectations.
It can be difficult to monitor and manage customer expectations. Many businesses use quality management systems to keep track of and improve their customer satisfaction by providing a consistently high level of service and collecting feedback from their customers.
The importance of customer satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is a priority no matter what industry you’re in or what you’re selling. Modern consumers have more choice than ever before and if they’re not satisfied by your service or products they won’t stick around to tell you, they’ll just leave and go to your competitors.
Here are some of the reasons you should prioritise customer satisfaction:
1. Repeat customers represent the best value
It’s widely accepted that it’s at least five times cheaper to retain a customer than acquire a new one. If you can keep your existing customers happy they’re far more likely to stay with you, leading to greater lifetime value and reduced acquisition costs for your business.
2. Customers quickly switch off after a negative experience
Your customers will stay loyal until you give them a reason not to. Around 96% of customers say customer service is important in their choice of loyalty to a brand, so providing a high-quality customer experience along with consistently excellent products is key to retaining customer loyalty.
3. Happy customers won’t look elsewhere
When you provide a positive customer experience your customers won’t feel the need to look elsewhere. In fact, loyal customers are five times more likely to make another purchase and four times more likely to refer a friend to your business than customers who don’t feel loyal to your brand. Ensuring customer satisfaction by meeting and exceeding expectations is the best way to create loyalty.
Social proof is key for bringing onboard new customers. Positive online reviews, word of mouth and recommendations are invaluable to your business, with around 88% of people claiming to trust online reviews as much as they would a personal recommendation.
ISO 9001 and customer satisfaction
ISO 9001 is the ISO standard for quality management. An important aspect of ISO 9001 is customer satisfaction which is covered in clause 9.1.2. In line with the ISO philosophy of continual improvement, ISO 9001’s customer satisfaction clause focuses on continuous monitoring of customer satisfaction and ongoing improvement and optimisation of the customer experience.
The clause aims to help organisations create a systematic, ongoing approach to measuring, meeting and exceeding the needs of their customers.
Using a quality management system can have proven benefits for your business, with 90% of global executives who use data analytics reporting that they improved their ability to deliver a great customer experience.
How can customer satisfaction be reviewed?
ISO 9001 looks at customer satisfaction in clause 9.1.2 which provides guidelines for businesses on assessing customer expectations and satisfaction levels. To enact clause 9.1.2 your business needs to:
1. Create an effective strategy for gathering customer feedback
Customer satisfaction is all about data. You need genuine feedback from your customers that accurately represents their satisfaction levels. To craft your customer feedback strategy you should:
Define your ideal target customers
Choose suitable tools for collecting feedback
Designate a staff member or team to collect the data
Decide how the data will be analysed
Decide how you will implement the findings from that data
2. Determine key customer satisfaction indicators
What are the elements of your customer experience process that influence customer satisfaction? This will vary depending on your industry and business type but factors could include things like:
- Product quality
- Delivery times
- Customer service
- Packaging quality
- Ease of ordering/payment
- Conformity with contract
3. Collect and analyse customer feedback
The key to providing a better customer experience is of course obtaining customer satisfaction data. There are a number of ways you can measure customer satisfaction including:
- Surveys and questionnaires
- Focus groups
- Customer complaint analysis
- Product return feedback
- Direct customer communication
- Outsourced feedback collection by an agency
- Churn rates, or customer turnover levels
4. Implement changes based on feedback results
Once you’ve collected data in accordance with the satisfaction indicators set out in step two, it’s important to not only analyse the data but to implement changes based on your findings. Once you have implemented changes you should commence a new cycle of customer satisfaction reviews to analyse the impact of those changes.
ISO 9001 monitoring and measurement of product
ISO 9001 requires your business to continuously measure and monitor its product characteristics. The purpose of monitoring and measurement is to ensure all requirements are met throughout each stage of the product’s realisation process and that intended objectives are achieved.
Monitoring and measurement involve analysing, watching and recording your processes and determining their characteristics. This process includes:
- Identifying which processes require monitoring and measurement.
- Identifying what type of monitoring or measurement is required.
- Determining which monitoring and measurement equipment is required.
- Ensuring necessary calibrations or verifications of monitoring and measurement equipment.
- Determining how monitoring and measurement data will be collected and reviewed, and by whom.
- Identifying how and when monitoring and measurement information will be sent to senior management.
Monitoring and measurement of product characteristics is key to customer satisfaction as it ensures consistently high quality of your products or services.
Monitoring and improving customer satisfaction using Mango quality management software
Mango is an integrated cloud based QHSE management system. Its ISO 9001 quality management module not only ensures consistent high-quality output from your business, it also offers dedicated solutions for gathering and analysing customer feedback.
Mango allows you to create unlimited customer surveys to gather customer satisfaction data.
Send an email link to your customers for them to record their satisfaction with your performance. No paperwork required. Plus, Mango also allows you to display assessment data alongside other module information for a clear comparison and understanding of your business’s performance.
Learn more about Mango’s quality management system with this quick video:
The important thing to remember about customer satisfaction is that it’s not a destination but an ongoing process. Customer satisfaction should be constantly improved upon, with your methods and processes continually evolving to match customer needs and expectations.