From telecommunications to tourism, as international trade in services flourishes, so does the need and potential for standards, because standards help to improve quality and make things work. We talk to David Shark, deputy director general of the WTO, on his views of the future of service standards in international trade.
Services represent more than two thirds of World Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to the World Trade Organization. They are a core economic activity, contributing more to GDP than both industry and agriculture combined. The services revolution creates new commercial opportunities and underpins virtually every economic activity.
ISO develops International Standards that help ensure that services are of a consistent, high quality. This has a number of benefits:
- For consumers, it means you can have more confidence in all types of services ranging from phone bills to tourism.
- For business, ensuring a good quality service helps differentiate your business from the competition, bringing concrete economic benefits.
ISO standards deal with many types of services in different sectors. For example:
- ISO 10002:2014 provides guidance on the process of complaints handling within an organization helping to enhance customer satisfaction.
- ISO 24510:2007 focuses on drinking water and wastewater services, giving guidance on how to satisfy users' needs and expectations.
- ISO/IEC Guide 76 includes recommendations to service providers for addressing a range of consumer issues, helping them to reduce customer complaints and the business costs of poor service.
Learn more about ISO standards and services from our #servicestandards campaign.