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Hair found in product - how to respond to complaint?


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#1 kuokht

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 10:21 AM

Hi All,

Recently I received a complaint from consumer that he found a hair (most likely the arm's hair) from my company product (snack product).

After investigation, it was determined that the hair could be coming from our operators. Even though the plant have strict GMP procedure and proper gowning procedure, the chances of hair contamination is still possible.

For this complaint, I would like to seek your help of how do you response to the consumer without upsetting the consumer in this situation? The consumer sounds very upset with the hair and my customer relationship promise to give him the reply after the investigation.

Thank you for the help.

Kuokht



#2 Charles.C

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 02:14 AM

Hi All,

Recently I received a complaint from consumer that he found a hair (most likely the arm's hair) from my company product (snack product).

After investigation, it was determined that the hair could be coming from our operators. Even though the plant have strict GMP procedure and proper gowning procedure, the chances of hair contamination is still possible.

For this complaint, I would like to seek your help of how do you response to the consumer without upsetting the consumer in this situation? The consumer sounds very upset with the hair and my customer relationship promise to give him the reply after the investigation.

Thank you for the help.

Kuokht


Dear Kuokht,

Product ?

You omitted to state whether you have physical evidence of the claim ? ie the sample.

The response may depend on who the consumer is ? eg a random letter or a major customer ?.

It may also depend on where you are.

Rgds / Charles.C

Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#3 kuokht

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 05:23 AM

Dear Kuokht,

Product ?

You omitted to state whether you have physical evidence of the claim ? ie the sample.

The response may depend on who the consumer is ? eg a random letter or a major customer ?.

It may also depend on where you are.

Rgds / Charles.C



Hi Charles,
Yes, the consumer has returned the sample to me with the hair.

It's is general public consumer in Korea market and I am still figure out how to write the proper feedback to the consumer.


Please help.

Thank you.

Kuokht

#4 Charles.C

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 07:25 AM

Hi Charles,
Yes, the consumer has returned the sample to me with the hair.

It's is general public consumer in Korea market and I am still figure out how to write the proper feedback to the consumer.
Please help.
Thank you.

Kuokht

Dear Kuokht,

I assume it is yr Company’s Policy to textually respond to all evidential complaints (?) .

If so, 1 initial statement is fairly typical –

Express (polite) regret to the customer for his/her “inconvenience / dissatisfaction” together with the importance of their (continuing) custom.

Additional details regarding the specific complaint will IMEX depend on the Company’s assessment of the situation, particularly in respect to the product sensitivity / defect / the customer / regulatory, eg whether you conclude the event is genuine / fictional, rare, occasional, frequent, unavoidable (!!).

Three examples of differing likelihoods / defects are illustrated below -

http://www.ifsqn.com...dpost__p__44192

. http://www.ifsqn.com...dpost__p__47936

http://www.ifsqn.com...omer-complaint/

IMEX the amount of information will inevitably relate to the actual case and quite possibly the location. Some Companies probably have a replacement Policy (?).

Rgds / Charles.C

PS - It should also be advantageous if yr manufacturing facility / process is certified to a recognised Food Safety / Quality / GMP Standard.

Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#5 suntzu

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 05:36 AM

From my experience, the important aspects to consider are to take the matter seriously, and deal with it both promptly and professionaly, but do not to crucify yourself by putting yourself in a position that makes you a target of litigation.

 

Simply express regret at the situation, advise that the sample wiil be / is being analized, and that you are always concerned about the satisfaction of your clients, and offer to replace the product or provide a refund to them.

 

As a chef, many years ago i had a case of a customer complaint that a hair was found in their salad.

the facts: i shave my head, and personally washed all the lettuce myself, and the server had long blond hair.

 

the offending hair was long and black, the same as the customers, who had a big beehive hairdo.

 

I offered to replace the meal and to take the hair for analysis.

 

the customer was immediately shocked at my suggestion of DNA analysis, and refused to co-operate, and demanded free lunch for her group of diners.

 

I stated that without analysis that it could not be proven that the hair is any ones in particular, and that without such proof that i was unable to accept the free lunch for her entire group as suitable resolution.

 

She then became agressive and said she will refuse to pay, and i advised that this would be a case of theft and the police would be involved as she is not legally entitled to refuse payment without genuine basis.

 

the end result was she paid, and her friends apologised stating they believed the hair was hers and had fallen into her own meal.

 

very sensitive area, so must be very delicately and professionally handled.....

 

in a case where i had inferior product, yoghurt, that was almost all mushed strawberries, and not much yoghurt, i called the company just to advise they may need to check their production line, and they were kind enough to offer me a $10 refund direct to my bank account.. without me asking for it.

 

as can be seen, how a complaint is deleivered, and how it is received can result in very different outcomes..



#6 Charles.C

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 08:30 AM

Dear suntzu,

 

Interesting PR approach.

 

Seems you definitely do not subscribe to the, i think, common theory that "the customer is always right". :eek_yello:

 

I seem to remember a similar confrontational technique  in Fawlty Towers. :smile:

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#7 suntzu

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 04:26 PM

Dear suntzu,

 

Interesting PR approach.

 

Seems you definitely do not subscribe to the, i think, common theory that "the customer is always right". :eek_yello:

 

I seem to remember a similar confrontational technique  in Fawlty Towers. :smile:

 

Rgds / Charles.C

 

without going into too much detail regarding the incident of the hair in the salad, i would like to say that i do not take kindly to blackmail and threats by customers when an issue can be resolved quite civilly, and had it not been for the blackmail and threats i would have kindly waived the cost of the meal, as i have on many occasions... as i pointed out, how a complaint is delivered, and how it is received can have a marked bearing on the outcome.. so yes i do agree that you are right in saying that i do not subscribe to the "customer is always right" principle, and nor do a lot of companies when threatened with extortion by apparent and unqualified (as in not proven to be) genuine customers.

 

now let us go back to the OP... treat the complaint seriously and professionaly... aaaaand beware of extortion, hahaha



#8 Charles.C

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 07:49 PM

Dear suntzu,

 

It would certainly be interesting to compare yr customer handling technique with the typical Policies of, say, branded Fast Food Operators.

 

Having worked behind the counter of a few, I have to say that yr philosophy is rather more "in-the-face" than the "courtesy" driven procedure which I personally experienced.

 

But if it works for you / yr Management then one can only say Good Luck.

 

Rgds / Charles.C

 

PS - of course i daresay neither of us is too familiar with the problems faced by foodservice facilities in Afghanistan. :smile:


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#9 suntzu

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 01:11 AM

Dear suntzu,

 

It would certainly be interesting to compare yr customer handling technique with the typical Policies of, say, branded Fast Food Operators.

 

Having worked behind the counter of a few, I have to say that yr philosophy is rather more "in-the-face" than the "courtesy" driven procedure which I personally experienced.

 

But if it works for you / yr Management then one can only say Good Luck.

 

Rgds / Charles.C

 

PS - of course i daresay neither of us is too familiar with the problems faced by foodservice facilities in Afghanistan. :smile:

actually, my dear fisherman, if the customer demands to speak with a manager, then that is normally the process that follows.

 

from my experience there is normally a procedure for "escalating" customer related issues bases on their nature and difficulty, and one of the reasons to escalate is when a customer specifically demands such action, another such situation is when the front line rep is having difficulty and requests assistance or intervention.


Edited by Charles.C, 27 April 2014 - 03:22 AM.
edited for politeness


#10 vasil.emilov

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 11:55 AM

Regarding customer complaints,

 

should I trace them in a form to be more clearly visable



#11 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 12:13 PM

Customer complaints are good to track and trend.  You can have sections for things like Physical, chemical, biological contamination and then under that more sections.  Then once you have your system in place you can use the data to chart complaints.


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#12 CaliforniaFS

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 08:22 PM

Depending on the situation, I never apologize.

 

Thank the consumer for taking the time to reach out to the company about the incident. If the consumer didn't provide details, Request details, where was it purchased, on what day etc.

All of these details will assist in proper internal and external investigation. Assign the incident a case # and provide it to the consumer to.

 

When the consumer responds with additional information reply back back and inform them that the incident is recorded and thank them again for bringing it up to your attention. Then send the customer a refund or coupons if you feel it is necessary.



#13 Charles.C

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 08:24 AM

Dear CaliforniaS,

 

Indeed, an importer initiated a 24 hr hotline for complaints, phone number on the packaging. Line was manned by office personnel on a rotating basis.

 

First day, a customer wished to claim for new denture after embedded/bent in rubbery, fried squid.

Operator dutifully followed SOP and  requested details, eg sample of product, frying time, etc to forward to QA.

Next day the mail included a  bonus surprise.

Seeing is Believing.

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#14 mamad123

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 09:54 AM

hi,

 

usually I make an apologize and tell them if the company is going to trace and identify the source of contamination, then the company will conduct the corrective action (increasing the system or tightening GMP). but it depends on the local regulation






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