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How to Improve your Customer Journey Using ISO 9001 (Section 10)

08 February 2021
Lets look at how to improve your business and customer journey using 'Section 10' of ISO 9001:2015 - Improvement. 

Improvement is something we all strive towards:

  • To get better at…

  • Make an addition to something to bring value

  • Increase capital value

Along with customer perception this is possibly the least evidenced aspect of the audit and arguably these two elements are critical set you apart from your competitor.

Examples of improvement may be:

  • Corrective action

  • Change

  • Innovation

  • Re-organisation

  • Refining a process or a system

The Standard requires: 

“The organization shall determine and select opportunities for improvement and implement any necessary actions to meet customer requirements and enhance customer satisfaction.”
 
The purpose of this is clear; meet customer requirements, and enhance satisfaction, for example:

I bought a hoover 11 months ago, it was the most expensive hoover I have ever purchased but it was amazing! It was selected after reading reviews online, and even asking in a social media group who has this and is it worth the money?

Based on customer feedback I bought it – they had the sale! Unfortunately it died… but now this brand has my custom for life! Why?

  • I was able to call the company and get through to a real person almost immediately – my expectation was lots of minutes listening to a robot “press 1 for this and 5 for that”

  • They noted I hadn’t registered for warranty – I expected to lose my money – they actually registered it there and then retrospectively and covered me

  • I was told what shop was nearest to return it to with automatic refund or replace – I expected issues – there was, they didn’t have it in stock and had added £100 to the price

  • I got a refund and decided to buy it direct for the same price – helpfully they asked me what I wanted and what upgrade free gift I needed – same hoover £50 off, free car valet kit delivered next day and covered for 5 years!!

Requirement met, enhanced satisfaction and I was really happy to tell them when they asked for feedback.

The point is I could have got the same hoover from anywhere, but the process was good and actually came from a negative situation. Often determining what your company needs to improve on or can improve on is daunting, and good questions to ask of yourselves may be:

  • If you were a consumer of your product and company would you see a valuable service?

  • Would you be satisfied or do we go the extra mile to make the customer really happy?

  • Do we give the customer what they want or expect, or is what we THINK they want?

It is critical to assess honestly where your business ranks; average is ok! Will average set you apart from the competition?

Authored by Judith Hargreaves, NQA UK Auditor