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:

ISO standards deal with many types of services in different sectors. For example:

Other subjects include training, tourism, leisure and hospitality services, transport, and services for consumers.

Useful publication

ISO Focus+, 3/2012

ISO Focus+, Servicing the services sector

March 2012 issue of ISO's monthly magazine.

How to find standards on services

Market demand for standards to ensure the quality of service delivery is rising to match services’ importance in economies around the world.  Currently about 700 of ISO’s 19’000 standards are directly related to services, and this number is growing rapidly.

ISO International Standards are designed by groups of experts called technical committees, each concentrating on a specific subject. One way to find standards on a specific topic is to search the work of a particular technical committee.

Click on the links below to see the standards published by each technical committee.

ISO Store

  • ISO 10002:2004
    Quality management -- Customer satisfaction -- Guidelines for complaints handling in organizations
  • ISO 24510:2007
    Activities relating to drinking water and wastewater services -- Guidelines for the assessment and for the improvement of the service to users
  • ISO/IEC Guide 76:2008
    Development of service standards -- Recommendations for addressing consumer issues

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Useful articles

Consumers speak out! - A framework for developing service standards

by Anne Ferguson

Good customer service matters to consumers in the vast services sector, which dominates the global economy. Standardization is at last increasing its activity in this key area and can gain from using ISO/IEC Guide 76:2008, Development of service standards – Recommendations for addressing consumer issues, which helps by addressing the consumer issues faced during service standards development.

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Bill shock! - Customer complaints down, satisfaction up

by Bill Dee, Danny Ilan & Neil Avery

How many times have you found your bills confusing, overloaded or simply inaccurate ? Have you ever had problems paying, or been unclear about how to switch suppliers ? Billing problems are a major cause of complaints made to utilities and utility industry ombudsmen. While the market has never fully addressed this failure itself, a new International Standard currently in development – ISO 14452, Network services billing – promises to make billing clearer, more customer friendly and better all round.

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Welcome! Working for tourists worldwide

by Elena Ordozgoiti

2011 saw a growth of tourist arrivals by over 4 % according to the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) – an impressive figure given the global economic recession, major political changes in the Middle East and North Africa as well as natural disasters including the tsunami in Japan. The sector is directly responsible for 5 % of the world’s GDP, 6 % of total exports, and employs one out of every 12 people in developing and developed countries alike. International arrivals are on track to reach the one billion mark milestone in 2012, an encouraging development at a time of economic challenges when job creation is urgently needed. International Standards can boost confidence in the industry, to further stimulate growth.

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