Customer satisfaction measures are required by the current revisions of ISO/AS/TS to be used as effectiveness measures of the quality management system. Whereas many firms had been using internal measures, i.e. number of complaints or on-time shipping, the international standard now requires the firm to measure the customerís perception of the degree to which the firm has met their expectations with products and services supplied. This Voice Of The Customer can only come from the customer and must be collected and presented in such a manner that improvement goals can be established and tracked. The internal measures that are being used must agree with the customer satisfaction measures and, in effect, have the ability to predict future customer satisfaction.
MEASUREMENT PROCESS & TOOLS
Just as in any measurement process, there are measurement tools appropriate to the measurement task at hand. Some are better than others and the effects of bias, repeatability and other measurement errors need to be considered when deciding on a specific tool. The most common tool is the survey but the delivery method can drastically affect the errors associated with it. As an example, a mailed survey without follow up will typically have a very low and highly biased response, whereas a survey completed by the salesman, when in front of the customer, will be far more precise. The customers to be contacted need to be defined in terms of numbers, groupings or other attributes that would impact how they perceive the firmís products and services. With this information in place, a satisfaction measurement plan is developed, detailing the tools to be used, the delivery method, sample size, sample frequency, how the data are analyzed and reporting venues/frequency.
If your firm is facing the customer satisfaction requirement to comply with ISO/AS/TS or just desires to assess customer satisfaction as good business, contact us for consulting and training assistance. We can manage the entire customer satisfaction measurement process through our Contract Services Division in the event your firm elects to out-source the process.