5.2 Customer Focus - Customer needs and expectations are determined


Andy Bassett

Top management shall ensure that customer needs and expectation are determined.....

Honestly now, when writing the manual do you blah blah this section, or do you try to define something that the managment do to create customer focus. As far as i can see this is covered in other sections like 7.2.1 Identification of Customer Requirements. Do you repeat this section.

I am as always desperate to avoid simply creating a weighty useless set of documents.

If i write something i would like it to be factual and actual


Andy B

Jim Biz

Sure not an answer to your post but I've got a good one going....under the "Customer Expectations file"

Recieved a return request yesterday 9/20/2000 for 2% of a part load - 98pcs. on a part we delivered 7/15/1999... Our customer "expectation is that we accept return after 14 months... because the parts "don't fit" - nor reason for why they dont fit.... Plus "guess what" it is now an obsolete part and they don't intend to order it again... Does the newest standard read "REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS"?? OR REASONABLE SATISFACTION? (We're talking minimal dollars worth of materials and a return Freight bill equal to the part cost after 14 months.) HOW could anyone ensure & determine that type of expectation???


[This message has been edited by Jim Biz (edited 21 September 2000).]



I'm writing a Customer Satisfaction Procedure that includes all the customer areas, such as Customer Focus, Identification of Customer Requirements, etc.

In the Quality Manual I am referencing the Customer Satisfaction Procedure. This way I am not being redundant.



Fully vaccinated are you?
This is a new addition to ISO 9001. Since the new standard has not undergone the final vote, there is still some discussion on how this can be addressed. Currently the thought is this is going to be in part evidenced during planning stages. The implementation currently appears to be that the expectation is that customer 'needs and expectations' be determined not only during quality planning but to also be re-evaluated periodically. The words NEEDS and EXPECTATIONS muddy the waters as they are quite open to interpretation. 'Converting' these to 'requirements' implies defining measurables.

The interpretation here is murky. The question most open to discussion is how a company determines customer ‘needs’ and ‘expectations’. In manufacturing there are tools such Quality Function Deployment. In essence, QFD (Quality Function Deployment) is a tool to map out product characteristics with customer wants and needs, working to determine the value the customer puts on the characteristics. There is a very brief discussion on QFD with respect to service in a thread here somewhere. Do a Search here in the Forusm - and manybe the site - using the keyword QFD. However, QFD is just one tool and it is a ‘difficult’ one to master. QFD is not a specific suggestion from me – just ‘food for thought’.

Converting customer ‘needs’ and ‘expectations’ into requirements is less of an issue. If you determine a customer ‘expects’ quick service, you define what ‘quick’ is. For example -- FWC has determined (or so it appears) that 4 hours is the longest a customer would want to wait for a service representative to call after contacting FWC for fulfillment. FWC has integrated this requirement into its response (fulfillment) system. The question is – How did you determine this?
Parts fof this diatribe are from the ISO 9001:2000 Discussion (Sponsored by the ISO 9000 Support Group) www.isogroup.net


Customer focus

Is there a need to have a procedure to address this issue? Does anyone have an example of such a procedure? I feel that the issues like customer requirements and customer complaints, which show our commitment and care for our customer are treated in specific procedures and this aspect can only be mentioned in the policy manual. Please help.

Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
There isn't a specific need to create a procedure, however, I would guess that some procedures in your program and the Quality Manual have references to this to some degree.

The Customer is the reason why the organization exists. If we aren't already looking at the Customer for direction, then where will direction come from?



Aaron Lupo

I would say you address Customer Focus in 4.3 Contract Review????


We are talking here about ISO 9000-2000 standard, where "Customer focus" is 5.2.
I thought about using the former "contract review" procedure to address this, but I would rather use it (parts of it) to create procedures regarding customer requirements and satisfaction.

So, from what you're saying, I may say in the quality manual that we focus on our customers and reffer to all the procedures that treat the interaction with the customer.

Would this be all right?

Have a good day!


Hi Paula
A procedure isn't required but it does refer to 7.2.1 and 8.2.1.

8.2.1 Customer satisfaction As one of the measurements of the performance of the quality management system, the organization shall monitor information relating to customer perception as to whether the organization has met customer requirements. The methods for obtaining and using this information shall be determined.

The last statement sure sounds like it could be a precedure to me. Why not write a procedure stating how you're going to go about getting the feedback.


Francis Cottier

I would suggest that the Customer Satisfaction is much more than the old Contract Review which focussed on establishing the (Product) requirements. It is possible to have customers who are not satisfied but have no problem with the product itself. Factors such as personnel responsiveness and attitude also play a part in keeping customers happy.
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