ISO 10002

Customer satisfaction – Guidelines for complaints handling

In today’s environment, organizations that want to survive in the market must strive to improve their products and services. One of the tools for continuous improvement is customer satisfaction research and adequate handling of complaints. A dissatisfied customer can be the biggest enemy of the organization because communicating his negative opinion destroys the reputation of the organization. If complaints are handled correctly, useful information and lessons can be learned from customer dissatisfaction. Also, statistics show that 70% of dissatisfied customers remain faithful to the organization, if the complaints are resolved in a satisfactory manner. The cost of retaining existing customers is statistically 1/6 of the cost of acquiring new ones.

Standard ISO 10002 provides guidance to organizations for planning, designing, developing, operating, maintaining, and improving an effective and efficient complaint handling process for all types of commercial or non-commercial activities, including those related to e-commerce. Information obtained through complaint handling process can lead to improvements of the products, services and processes and, if complaints are handled properly, can improve reputation of organization.

Dealing with complaints through the process described in this standard can increase customer satisfaction. Encouraging customer feedback, including complaints if users are dissatisfied, can provide opportunities to maintain or increase customer loyalty and improve domestic and international competitiveness.
Standard ISO 9001 specifies the requirements for a quality management system. The complaint handling process described in ISO 10002 can be used as an element of a quality management system. Standard ISO 10002 is compatible with ISO 9001 and supports its focus on customer through effective and efficient application of the complaint handling process. This standard can also be used independently of ISO 9001.

Standard ISO 10002 is applicable to any organization, regardless of type or size, or the products and services it provides. It is also intended to be used by organizations in all sectors and contains instructions specific to small businesses.

The implementation of standard ISO 10002 helps organizations to turn a dissatisfied customer into a satisfied one, as well as to use information to improve their products or services. ISO 10002 enables them to adequately manage the organization’s complaint handling process to retain existing customers, identify flaws in their products or services in a timely manner, and to improve both the quality of products or services and their customer relationship. By implementing the ISO 10002 standard, the complaint handling process becomes simple and accessible to customers and enables complaints to be resolved quickly. Effective complaint management is not only based on reducing the number of complaints, but also on using the information obtained to create opportunities for improvement.


Documented audit of organization’s conformity with ISO 10002 is an important tool for demonstrating the organization’s commitment to customer satisfaction and establishing a reliable system for handling complaints, enabling:

  • that complainant has easy access to an open complaint handling process, as well as the process that is quick to respond to complaint;
  • greater ability of organization to resolve complaints in a manner that is consistent, systematic and responsive, to the satisfaction of the complainant;
  • greater ability of organization to identify trends and eliminate the causes of complaints and improve operational activities of organization;
  • help to organization to create a user-centered approach to resolving complaints and encourage personnel to improve their customer service skills;
  • basis for continuous review and analysis of the process of dealing with complaints, resolving complaints and improvements made to the process.

In the global market, the benefits of applying an international standard are becoming increasingly apparent as it provides confidence in the consistent handling of complaints. Organizations can use the complaint handling process along with the customer satisfaction code given in ISO 10001.