This document gives guidelines for the process of complaints handling related to products and services within an organization, including planning, design, development, operation, maintenance and improvement. The complaints-handling process described is suitable for use as one of the processes of an overall quality management system. NOTE – Throughout this document, the terms "product" and "service" refer to the outputs of an organization that are intended for, or required by, a customer. This document is intended for use by any organization regardless of its type or size, or the products and services it provides. It is also intended for use by organizations in all sectors. Annex B provides guidance specifically for small businesses. This document addresses the following aspects of complaints handling: a) enhancing customer satisfaction by creating a customer-focused environment that is open to feedback (including complaints), resolving any complaints received, and enhancing the organization's ability to improve its products and services, including customer service; b) top management involvement and commitment through adequate acquisition and deployment of resources, including personnel training; c) recognizing and addressing the needs and expectations of complainants; d) providing complainants with an open, effective and easy-to-use complaints process; e) analysing and evaluating complaints in order to improve the quality of products and services, including customer service; f) auditing of the complaints-handling process; g) reviewing the effectiveness and efficiency of the complaints-handling process. This document does not apply to disputes referred for resolution outside the organization or for employment-related disputes.