Guidance

Plan your management system

The ISO Navigator™ database hyperlinks the ISO 9000 principles and the ISO 9001 requirements; and explains them in plain English with practical guidance.

ISO 9001: Customer focus

Organizations depend on their customers, therefore customer needs and expectations should be researched. ISO 9001 base clause 'customer focus'; links to customer related processes and customer satisfaction. If the organization's mission is to satisfy the customer, then customer requirements must be determined (7.2) and feedback (8.2.1) sought.

ISO 9001:2008 defines customer focus as a top management responsibility which involves determining customer requirements and ensuring that processes exist to meet those requirements.

Enhance customer satisfaction by ensuring that customer requirements are identified. The principal message that top management must convey is that the objective of the business is to satisfy your customers by ensuring a process exists to achieve the following:

  1. Identifying customer requirements
  2. Meeting customer requirements
  3. Enhancing customer satisfaction

When auditing customer focus, the audit team should assess whether customer satisfaction is adequately determined and appropriate corrective action undertaken when things go wrong.

The customer feedback process should be audited as a process in its own right and not just as a clause in the standard. Determine how this process is planned, implemented and improved as these factors will affect the processes’ ability to provide meaningful information about the effectiveness of the QMS.