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How to handle customer complaints according to ISO Standards

How to handle customer complaints according to ISO Standards

Customer satisfaction has become one of the main strategic differentials for a company due to increasing competition in various market sectors, so it is essential to know how to handle customer complaints.

A complaint, if handled properly, can become a business opportunity and thus increase customer loyalty, as well as promoting continuous improvement of the products and services offered.

With this in mind, ISO Standards offer important guidelines for handling these complaints, ensuring that the processes for dealing with them are efficient and effective.

This article will present best practices for handling complaints, so that companies can offer excellent customer service.


Basic steps for handling customer complaints

Dealing with customer complaints can be a challenge for companies, but it is a fundamental process to ensure customer satisfaction and improve the products and services offered.

For this process to be efficient, we must follow some basic steps. The first step is to receive the complaint, in which the customer must be listened to attentively and respectfully.

Next, it is necessary to investigate the causes of the problem, so that the necessary corrective actions can be identified. The third step is to offer an adequate solution to the customer, always aiming at their satisfaction and loyalty.

Finally, the company must follow up on the solution process to verify whether the measures adopted were effective. This article will present these basic steps in more detail to assist companies in the process of handling customer complaints. Let’s get started?


Identify the customer’s complaint

The first step is always to identify the customer’s complaint!

This can be done in various ways, such as online reviews (or through other communication channels), direct feedback with the customer, suggestion boxes in physical stores, among other techniques.

It is very important to document the complaints received and record all relevant details, such as the date of the complaint, the customer’s name, the product or service in question, and the nature of the complaint.


Analyze the complaint

Once the complaint has been received and identified, the next step will be to analyze it to understand the cause of the problem and evaluate the impact on the customer.

The analysis should include an investigation and identification of underlying causes. For this, we can use tools such as the “5 Whys” or the “Ishikawa Diagram,” among many others.


Determine the necessary corrective actions

Based on the analysis of the complaint, the necessary corrective actions must be identified to solve the problem and also prevent future occurrences of similar complaints.

Corrective actions may include additional employee training, implementation of changes in processes or procedures, and other measures to improve product or service quality. It all depends on the root cause of the problem in question.


Implement corrective actions

Within Quality Management processes, the identification of non-conformities and corrective actions is essential to ensure the effectiveness of the system.

However, identifying the actions to be implemented is not enough! It is necessary that they are executed effectively to ensure that the problem is solved and does not occur again. In this context, the effectiveness of corrective actions is fundamental to the continuity and sustainability of the business. It is extremely important that the organization adopts a structured and efficient approach in its activities of analysis, planning, and implementation of corrective actions, in order to build a culture of continuous quality and ensure its effectiveness.

This may include communication with the involved employees, updating the documentation of the quality management system, hiring people, replacing machinery, or other measures that may be considered relevant.


Verify the effectiveness of corrective actions

Once corrective actions have been executed, it is important to verify if it is worth it.

This verification can be done by evaluating the results obtained after the implementation of corrective actions and reviewing other relevant information, such as customer feedback or the absence of recurring complaints.


Record the actions taken

It is important to document all the actions that will be taken to address the customer complaint, including the corrective measures being executed and the applicability checks.

This helps to ensure that the Quality Management System is in compliance with the requirements of ISO 9001 and also provides a basis for future analysis and evaluations.


Complaints: turning feedback into action!

In summary, addressing customer complaints according to ISO 9001 involves identifying the complaint, analyzing the problem, determining necessary corrective actions, implementing those actions, verifying their effectiveness, and recording all actions taken. By following these steps, companies can improve the quality of their products or services and ensure greater customer satisfaction.

Customer complaints offer an external view of the quality of the company’s service or product, and it is essential that the company understands each complaint as a unique opportunity to improve and grow.

In this way, the company should treat each complaint protocol with the same importance as any other process in the institution and value complaints as opportunities for growth.

Customers who file complaint protocols are enabling a better relationship between the company and the customer, while dissatisfied customers who do not file complaints prefer to unilaterally end the relationship without giving a chance for improvements.

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QMS is an accredited third party certification body, it is currently present in 33 countries and focuses on the certification of management systems. QMS America is managed by the US office and has consistently grown in market recognition by technical level, customer satisfaction and competitive pricing.

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