New British Standard on customer satisfaction provides guidelines for dispute resolution

Press release - 29 May 2008

  • BSI British Standards research shows that in cases of an organization failing to resolve a customer complaint, 33% of customers moved to a competitor while only 10% made use of a dispute resolution scheme.
  • Of those who did make use of a dispute resolution scheme, over half were satisfied with the outcome.

How does your organization deal with complaints to ensure that customers do not go to a competitor? Could you be losing customers as a result of existing practice or poor management of this process?

Many disputes cannot be resolved internally and require the involvement of external parties who can assist in reaching a resolution. BS ISO 10003 Customer Satisfaction – Guidelines for External Customer Dispute Resolution is a new standard published by BSI British Standards which provides guidance regarding the services of these external parties.

The BSI British Standards survey also found that of those who made a complaint about a product or service, only one third was made aware of the organization’s procedures for resolving disputes.

While courts and government consumer protection agencies may be used to reach a conclusion in disputes, quite often this can be costly or impractical. BS ISO 10003 contains guidance on facilitation, advice and decision making within the dispute resolution process. This includes direction on the selection of resolution services, involvement of top management in the process and implementation of a resolution.

BS ISO 10003 is part of a suite of customer satisfaction standards, available from BSI British Standards. Others in this series include:

  • BS ISO 10001: 2007 Customer satisfaction – Guidelines for codes of conduct for organizations 
  • BS ISO 10002: 2004 Guidelines for complaints handling in organizations
  • BS 8477 Code of practice for customer service

Mike Low, Director of BSI British Standards, said, “Many people will have experiences a low level of satisfaction with goods or services at some point and our survey shows how damaging this can be to an organization. Customers may have moved to a competitor if their complaint has not been handled satisfactorily or the dispute resolved efficiently. By implementing BS ISO 10003, organizations can put in place the framework for successfully resolving disputes and help to retain business.”

About the research:
This was a survey of 1,845 adults carried out on behalf BSI British Standards in February 2008