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 9000: Customer focus

Organizations depend on their customers, therefore customer needs and expectations should be researched and understood. Customer focus is all about how you manage the market in which your organization operates and interfaces with. Greater profit and market share is acheived by an orgnaization's ability to respond to market opportunities.

  1. Research and understand customer needs and expectations
  2. Ensure objectives are linked to those customer needs and expectations
  3. Communicate customer needs and expectations to the organization
  4. Measure customer satisfaction and act on the results
  5. Manage customer relationships

ISO 9001 Base Clause Customer focus 5.2 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.

There is now considerable emphasis on top management (e.g. Directors) being seen to be on-board and playing the game. Top management is defined as the person(s) who direct an organization at the highest level.

The principal message that management must get across is that the objective of this business is to keep the customer happy. Specifically, management must communicate these ideas (5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.5.1, 5.5.2, 5.5.3) to the employees who should be aware of their own roles and responsibilities (6.2.2).

Notice that none of these clauses specify a procedure or a record – you are simply required to do it. As a result, the Certification Body auditor will want to speak to the MD and the staff. This something that your internal auditors must also do.