Customer Focus - The Seven Quality Management Principles
In this series of blog posts we will be discussing the seven quality management principles (QMP). In this blog post we will be discussing the first out of the seven, which is Customer Focus.
1. Customer focus
3. Engagement of people
4. Process approach
6. Evidence based decision making
7. Relationship management
The ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System places a strong emphasis on Customer Focus as a fundamental principle for achieving organizational success. Customer Focus is a powerful place to start because after all, customers are the reason you are in business in the first place. It is a crucial part of every company but can cause some challenges as the definition of quality for is subjective to each customer, unless an agreed upon criteria has been established.
A valuable method to overcome this obstacle of subjectivity, is Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). It is vital to track these indicators surrounding quality within your company. They will be different based on operations, product and services provided by each business. Collecting data surrounding the business KPIs and analyzing them will allow your company to target what is currently working, and what could be improved to provide further value to your customers.
Here are some important key performance indicators centered around quality:
· Cost of Poor Quality
· Scrap or waste rate
· Process efficiency metrics
· Cost of rework
· Customer Satisfaction Ratings
With KPIs and customer satisfaction in mind - how do you know what your customers are thinking and feeling about your products and services? An effective way to understand to gain feedback is through customer service check-ins and surveys. These allow you to ensure you are meeting each customer’s unique expectations by encouraging them to be transparent with you in these communications. They can give critical responses that can lead your company to valuable enhancements and improved customer relationships. Consistent check-ins provide the opportunity to confirm customer expectations are being met and find areas of improvement that may not be noticed from an inside perspective.
Customer Focus is vital to the success of your company. Understanding your customers and their expectations through KPIs and feedback is a key factor to establishing and maintaining a quality. It is important to be able to implement this feedback accordingly, to build strong relationships with your customers and truly drive your company forward to new heights. Going above and beyond with your customers improves loyalty and references by providing an exceptional customer experience.
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ISO 9001 – The Seven Quality Management Principles (QMP)