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How to respond to quality complaints relating to cooked products supplied raw?

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PropTech

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Posted 09 October 2022 - 06:51 AM

Our business supplies raw beef to caterers. We receive a number of complaints from customers not happy with their perceived 'toughness' of a product (steaks & roasting joints) after they have cooked it. Although customer satisfaction is clearly very important it is my view the raw product was accepted (Suggesting that the product was visually organoleptically acceptable).and cooked (further processed) by the customer  The toughness of a joint after cooking is outside of our control and not necessarily a conclusive indicator of a poor-quality raw material. Although breed and grading of beef can be an indicator of potential eating quality there are so many other variables (including individual consumer preference) that could result in the finished product going either way. You could take an excellent pedigree cut and cook or season it poorly and it could be delicious to one person and disgusting to another.

 

In order to take into account variation in customer cooking equipment we provide a fairly non prescriptive cooking instruction based on Campden BRI (Core 70°C for two minutes). However it is clear from the images of 'affected' products that this instruction (and overcooking) is not the cause (products mostly rare-medium/rare). 

 

All complaints take time to respond to.

 

Am I being unreasonable?

Should we continue to accept complaints or this nature? 

Is the cook instruction the issue?
 

 

Any thoughts appreciated. 



pHruit

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Posted 09 October 2022 - 08:24 AM

I'm not experience in meat, but "user error" complaints are something that is pretty much universal across most consumer-facing product types. Even with the simplest products that only require the consumer to literally just open it and eat/drink, they'll still find a way to do it wrong and moan about it :happydance:

 

I think you'd still need to investigate and log these complaints, as they are a "legitimate" complaint until you've reviewed and considered them, but you could record them with e.g. a flag that notes the complaint is without merit, assuming that finding is supported by the investigation. I've done this in complaints tracking systems and have a separate tally for these, so you can keep track of them, monitor for any genuine trends, but also not have them cause your actual complaint rate to be overstated.

 

For the response I'd consider drafting up a standard template for this scenario. The exact wording will take a bit of thought, as you're basically saying "your fault not mine" to the customer, which is often not received very well ;)



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PropTech

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Posted 09 October 2022 - 08:51 AM

I'm not experience in meat, but "user error" complaints are something that is pretty much universal across most consumer-facing product types. Even with the simplest products that only require the consumer to literally just open it and eat/drink, they'll still find a way to do it wrong and moan about it :happydance:

 

I think you'd still need to investigate and log these complaints, as they are a "legitimate" complaint until you've reviewed and considered them, but you could record them with e.g. a flag that notes the complaint is without merit, assuming that finding is supported by the investigation. I've done this in complaints tracking systems and have a separate tally for these, so you can keep track of them, monitor for any genuine trends, but also not have them cause your actual complaint rate to be overstated.

 

For the response I'd consider drafting up a standard template for this scenario. The exact wording will take a bit of thought, as you're basically saying "your fault not mine" to the customer, which is often not received very well ;)

This makes sense. So far my attempts to to hit the right tone with response to these issues have fallen short of the mark so far  :doh: Thank you pHruit. 



cookinmaple

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Posted 17 October 2022 - 07:39 PM

I only have minimum experience in meat but … Just thinking, are you cutting the meat for the customer before sending it out? if so, are your meat cutters experienced enough to know how to cut the meat (against or with the grain) could be affecting the finished product texture when cooked?



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hello.fizz

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Posted 18 October 2022 - 02:16 AM

I have a template for one of our quality complaints. It is for end consumers and I have summarised it below. We have two causes for our issue, one which is caused by the customer and one by our packing team. It is sometimes our error, which we can usually tell from photos, although it does go through periods where it is the customer (or the retailer) at fault. I find that even an aggressive customer appreciates the information.

 

Hi xx,

Thank you for your feedback. We are sorry to hear you have had a bad experience with our product. 

 

Issue xx can be cause by 2/3 factors. Explain how different cooking methods can impact it. Explain how improper meat cutting could impact it. 

 

Could you please confirm if you have cooked it like xx and if so, the time/temperature?

 

Thank you.



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Scampi

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Posted 18 October 2022 - 02:41 PM

I would be asking lots of questions of the customer

 

And if they are an existing customer, who doesn't usually complain, then something may very well be amiss with a particular box

 

Too many factors involved that could impact the final product but some to think about

 

A) could an employee have accidentially pulled a side in the wrong order to break it down (i.e. was it only hung for 7 days instead of 15 as an example)

 

B) did the farmer change feed

 

C) did the animal(s) come from a different feed lot

 

D) was the animal medicated prior to slaughter--were withdrawl times followed

 

E) was there a short cut at the slaughter house? were required times followed

 

I could go on and on

 

There are variations from time to time as cows/chicken/sheep/pigs are animals and not widgets and will never be 100% identical.  Try and fully understand what the customers concerns really are (and give it adequate time based on this particular customers worth to the business)


Please stop referring to me as Sir/sirs


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PropTech

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Posted 18 October 2022 - 04:09 PM

Thank you all for your inputs. Much appreciated.





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