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How does your company deal with subjective customer complaints?

Customer Complaints

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drk0904

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 06:07 AM

How does your company deal with subjective customer complaints ?

 

Also how does your organization define subjective customer complaints ?

 

Thanks 


Edited by drk0904, 04 June 2020 - 06:08 AM.


Shawal

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 07:34 AM

can you define subjective?



pHruit

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 08:02 AM

As per post #2, it may be useful to get a better idea about what these subjective complaints are?
If it's just "I didn't like the taste of x", then I send them a rosette and a certificate that confirms they're important and special, and that their personal taste clearly surpasses that of numerous trained and consumer panels...

 

OK, I don't actually do that, but it's tempting sometimes. In reality if there is no actual "fault" with the product, your potentially looking at a generic response to the effect of: "We're sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy product x. This product is very popular but we appreciate that tastes differ. We have a wide range of products to suit many tastes, and we hope that you will give us the opportunity to impress you with one of those in the near future. We welcome all feedback from customers as this helps ensure we can continue to make products that many people can enjoy."

Obviously you need to also check the product first, to make sure that it really is just a personal taste issue rather than something actually wrong...

 

Dependent on how brave you are, you could also throw in a voucher for another product or a small selection of other items for them to try, but that's a potentially dangerous precedent to set, unless you particularly want to be inundated with spurious "complaints" from people trying to get free stuff ;)



olenazh

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 12:16 PM

Especially, it happens when a completely new product enters the market. For instance, when we launched plant-based (coconut) yogurts we got complaints stating the yogurt looked like sperm, tasted like sh..., etc. My apologies for foul language, but literally many complaints were worded that way. I name this kind of complaints "personal customer preference" as they don't reflect the actual properties of product.



MsMars

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 05:39 PM

Especially, it happens when a completely new product enters the market. For instance, when we launched plant-based (coconut) yogurts we got complaints stating the yogurt looked like sperm, tasted like sh..., etc. My apologies for foul language, but literally many complaints were worded that way. I name this kind of complaints "personal customer preference" as they don't reflect the actual properties of product.

 

Can you categorize these complaints differently? I.e. consumer preference feedback instead of a complaint? That way you can still track them, but they are not included in your totals that would reflect quality and/or food safety.



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olenazh

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 05:46 PM

Can you categorize these complaints differently? I.e. consumer preference feedback instead of a complaint? That way you can still track them, but they are not included in your totals that would reflect quality and/or food safety.

MsMars, thanks for your advise. That's actually what I do. BTW, congratulations on your award, you definitely deserve it:)



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Charles.C

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 02:49 AM

can you define subjective?

We once got a comment that our squid rings tasted like rubber bands.

 

That is definitely subjective. :smile:


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


drk0904

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 05:18 AM

Dear All,

 

 

This has been surely a very good discussion and will help in giving a good response to such "Subjective" complaints.

 

My next question to you is, how does your company classify customer complaints ? And what is yo response time for each type of complaints ?

 

Thanks in advance.



Duncan

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 03:52 PM

Can you categorize these complaints differently? I.e. consumer preference feedback instead of a complaint? That way you can still track them, but they are not included in your totals that would reflect quality and/or food safety.

 

 

I've encountered this type of approach before, but there are some drawbacks to attempting to classify this as anything other than a complaint.

 

Just from a systems point of view, you might be able to make a statement along the lines of "The product tastes the way it's intended to taste, so the complaint is based in subjectivity/unjustified". This reflects well on KPIs such as justified customer complaints per million units etc, but misses the point.

 

Your NPD process forms part of your quality management system. The intent of the NPD process is to deliver to market a product that appeals to consumer preferences in the target market, within the constraints of production costs etc. If a consumer says "This product tastes like sh*t," it isn't a defence to say "Yeah, but it's supposed to". You need to investigate whether your NPD process has allowed onto the market a product that causes repulsion in the target audience.

 

This is actually an interesting example of the difference between 'product quality' and process quality' - you might produce an absolutely consistent quality of product that is a 100% match for it's spec and QAS, but if the consumers hate it then the processes that led to the introduction of that product to the market are at fault.

 

If you produce marmite, you should have some internal acknowledgement that the product is likely to attract a certain rate of consumer complaint based on taste preference and your quality oversight should identify if/when the expected rate of consumer repulsion is exceeded. All of these things are just big, complicated feedback systems...


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