ISO 9001 & ISO TS29001/APIQ1, Customer Satisfaction

Many suppliers and a few consultants struggle with understanding as well as implementing ISO 9001 and ISO TS29001/API Q1 requirements for monitoring and measuring customer satisfaction.  There’s a common belief that an organization is required to perform customer surveys.

Although ISO 9001 and ISO TS29001/API Q1 do reference surveys as a possible method of obtaining customer feedback to determine satisfaction, it’s not the only way.  As a matter of fact, conducting online surveys is probably the least productive method to obtain customer feedback.

According to information available from, the industry open rate for online surveys is less than 20%.  Based upon this information, I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that the industry open rate for direct mailed surveys is even less.

So how can customer satisfaction best be measured or monitored?  If we look at the big picture and consider the use of data that should already be available, the task of monitoring or measuring becomes readily achievable.  As opposed to conducting satisfaction surveys, let’s take a different approach.  Let’s monitor and measure the following.

  1. Warranty claims filed
  2. Customer reported field failures
  3. Customer complaints or positive feedback received (via phone call, email, face to face meetings or direct mail)
  4. Number of late vs. on time/early deliveries completed
  5. Number of repeat customer orders
  6. New customer orders received

The results of monitoring and measuring these key performance indicators (KPIs) can be used to calculate a customer satisfaction rating.  This rating can be tracked over to determine or to assess trends (a rise or fall) in customer satisfaction.

In my opinion, this approach is much more practical and provides real time information that is directly related to customer satisfaction.  Please see ISO TS10004:2010, Quality Management – Customer Satisfaction, Monitoring and Measurement Guideline for additional information.

ISO 9001 and ISO TS29001/API Q1 only identify the requirement for monitoring and measuring customer satisfaction.  Each organization is responsible for the development of a procedure that will provide evidence of conformity.  I look forward to hearing your opinion.

Thanks for your continued interest and the comments.

ATCS, Q-Blog

Quality is 24/7/365

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