The service industry has been traditionally hesitant to adopt ISO programs, unless regulations or statutory clauses in contracts made it mandatory. ISO 9001:2008 did not make a compelling case for its applicability by adopting the terminology “product”; ISO 9001:2015 corrected that mistake. Also, ISO 9001:2008 uses “product realization” for its main section of the standard, a terminology associated with engineering and manufacturing, but not with service.
The worst-case scenario for a service company is to not deliver on the service agreed upon with the client. This scenario is called a service failure. Example of service failure could be an insurance company not settling a claim adequately or not in the amount of time promised to the client as per the contract.
When these service failures happen, management reflex is to go for the quick fix. And very often the same service failure will occur again which causes customers’ dissatisfaction and loss clientele. In ISO 9001:2015, your company is mandated to conduct internal and external audits on your processes and procedures. If done correctly, audits will expose weaknesses or non-conformity in your organisation. To solve non-conformity, an organisation must go through a root-cause analysis and formulate a corrective action plan to significantly lessen the risk of the service failure to occur again.