Quality Management Systems: Discover Why Customer Complaints Aren’t Always a Bad Thing

Last updated Feb 23, 2017

quality management system

During implementation of a new quality management system we often ask the question, “Do you have any customer complaints?” The same answer is generally given, but almost always with two implied meanings:

  1. A serious “No, we never get any complaints”
  2. A joking “No, we never get any complaints”

ISO 9001:2008 Section 7.2.3 requires “the organization shall determine and implement effective arrangement for communicating with customers in relation to … c) customer feedback, including customer complaint.” This is not, in fact, a way for the auditor to know what to look for but instead an opportunity to listen to the voice of the customer. If a customer is complaining to you, you have not lost them yet and you have the advantage of knowing exactly what to fix.

At Ledge Inc., we utilize the example of going out to a restaurant and having terrible service, but a good meal. If you say nothing and never come back, they will never know that their service was bad and cannot implement a corrective action. A complaint log should be reviewed with top management on a regular basis and a corrective action should be implemented as directed by the data.

By tracking complaints you can better understand what all of your customers may be noticing and not saying. It is a basic concept that is applied to continual improvement in business with an ISO Quality Management System: The most impactful benefits can be realized by correcting the biggest problems. Implement and utilizing corrective actions for challenges and problems saves businesses money by fueling continual improvement and results in happier customers.

In need of assistance with developing your Corrective Action Plan or Quality Management System? Contact Ledge today for assistance.

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Adam Marsh

Adam Marsh

President, Ledge Inc.

Adam is a Penn State engineer that has served as a Data Analyst and Engineer at St. Onge Company for 5 years, prior to establishing Ledge Inc. While maintaining a focus on simple solutions, Ledge Inc. has provided quality system implementation, process design, database development, quality tools, quality training, and data analysis to over 35 companies in South Central Pennsylvania and throughout the country. Adam currently serves as the sitting Chair for American Society for Quality Harrisburg Section 503 and as a member of the board for The Manufacturers’ Associations of South Central PA.

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