Customer Satisfaction – Guidelines for codes of conduct for the organization

Customer Satisfaction – Guidelines for codes of conduct for the organization

Numerous organizations are faced by the challenge of maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction. A solution to this significant challenge would be organizations putting in place a customer satisfaction code of conduct that consists of promises and related provisions such as limitations on the promise, supportive information and any other code provisions that the organization deems necessary. The use of this code is to address issues such as delivery, product returns and handling of personal information of customers.

ISO 10001:2018 (Quality management — Customer satisfaction — Guidelines for codes of conduct for organizations) a customer satisfaction code of conduct can be used effectively as an approach to complaints management. The standard proposes this through

  1. Prevention of customer complaints, by using of an appropriate customer satisfaction code of conduct;
  2. Internal complaints handling, for instances when expressions of dissatisfaction are received;
  3. External dispute resolution – this is for situations in which complaints cannot be internally dealt with satisfactorily.

The International Standard provides guidance to assist an organization in determining that its customer satisfaction code provisions meet customer needs and expectations, and that the customer satisfaction code is accurate and not misleading.

Guiding principles

  1. Commitment

Organizations should be actively committed to the adoption, integration and dissemination of a code and the fulfilment of its promises. If a pizza company with a code of conduct “If the pizza is not delivered hot and within 30 minutes, the pizza is free.” should be able to honour that promise when the customer gets a cold delivery unless limitations on the promise are communicated to the customer during order placement.

  • Capacity

Sufficient resources should be availed during code planning, design, development, implementation, maintenance and improvement, and for managing them effectively and efficiently. Do a pilot test to ensure that you make a promise that is within your means to deliver.

  • Visibility

It is important for a code to be well publicized to customers, personnel and other interested parties. For Pizza delivery, the code is printed on the pizza delivery boxes for take-away customers to see and on their websites for all the interested parties.

  • Accessibility

A code and relevant information about it should be easy to find and use. Organizations should use a language that is easily understood by the range of potentially interested customers. Alternative formats suitable for existing and potential customers, such as audio, large print, large raised letters, Braille, by email or on an accessible website should be considered.

  • Responsiveness

Organizations should respond to the needs and expectations of its clients/customers and the interested parties in its code. Identifying the stakeholders and obtaining their input while ensuring that the confidentiality of information from parties providing input is maintained

  • Accuracy

An organization should ensure that information about its code is accurate and not misleading. It should be verifiable and in compliance with relevant legal requirements.

  • Accountability

The organization should establish and maintain accountability for its code of conduct, and reporting on the same and the actions and decisions with respect to its code.

  • Continual improvement

Organizations should endeavour to have an increased effectiveness and efficiency of its code of conduct. As a matter of fact, it should be a permanent objective of the organization. Improvement can be achieved through corrective actions and mitigation of risks encountered.

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