Customer Complaint Management

Halise Yıldırım

The concept of complaint within the framework of customer complaint management, according to the ISO 10002:2004 standard; It has been defined as an expression of dissatisfaction with an organization with its products or the complaints-handling process itself, where a response or resolution is expected, either explicitly or implicitly.

BRC Food V9 Article 3.10. ,IFS Food V 7 Clause 5.8. and ISO22000:2018 9.1.1 ,10.1 have defined requirements related to customer complaint management. The standards emphasize that complaints must be promptly and effectively recorded, investigated and evaluated by a competent person, and actions determined must be carried out. When a significant increase in complaints occurs or a serious complaint is received, root cause analysis is requested regarding product safety, legality and quality. The increasing trend of complaints should be evaluated and the results should be shared with the relevant persons and management.

Regarding the handling of complaints in customer complaint management, preparing a procedure in accordance with the company's business concept and working methods would be appropriate for the proper execution of the workflow. Communication ways can be defined within the product labeling information (such as manufacturer's e-mail address, telephone number, web address) for complaints to be received.

An example flow of grievance submission is shown above, the length of the distribution chain of the products, whether exporting or not can cause this flow to be further elaborated.

Collection and Recording of Complaint Information

In customer complaint management, a tracking number to be given based on the number of complaints, date, product details (such as caliber, weight, packaging features), traceability lot number, supporting information proving the complaint (analysis, photo, etc.), name, address and telephone information (this information should not be included in the records used within the enterprise), the departments where the complaint will be evaluated, the date of the review of the complaint, the details of the results of the investigations and investigations, the references of customer correspondence (mail dates, etc.), the corrective action numbers opened on the subject and the date the complaint was closed. A complaint form should be prepared.

Complaint Investigation

Despite the risk of the problem reaching the point of product recall or recall within the framework of customer complaint management, it is important that appropriate action and corrections are handled promptly by a trained and competent person. The seriousness of the complaint (such as food poisoning, glass contamination), the impact of the complaint on the brand, the acceptability of the complaint, the food safety implications, what actions to take, the impact it may have on the company should be considered in the first place.

Responding to Complaint

A response to the received complaint should be prepared in accordance with company policies, empathizing and understanding, and containing satisfactory information. Customer evaluation may also be requested regarding the answer given. Returns such as refunds, replacements, corrections, gestures of goodwill, technical support, referrals, apologies, improvement proofs can be provided. This has an important place in customer complaint management.

Complaint Tendency and Continuous Improvement,

Classification of complaints to identify corrective actions and continuous improvement issues will facilitate trend analysis.

-Foreign matter subjects (insect, metal, glass, hair, bone, wood, plastic, stone, paper, etc.),

-Quality issues (sensory properties, appearance, microbiological properties, defective product, overfilled, underfilled, personal displeasure, etc.),

-Packaging issues (packaging error, labeling error, price error, lack of content on the label, missing content on the label, insufficient bonding/taping, damaged packaging, etc.)

example of classification.

After monitoring the trends in the customer complaint management system for a certain period of time, the strategies, actions, responsible and deadlines determined to prevent recurrence and reduce the number of complaints can be evaluated at the management review meetings. Determining the reduction of customer complaints within the scope of targets will be seen as an important step within the scope of continuous improvement. Calculation of poor quality costs, creation of quality improvement teams will be important pillars that support the improvement of the business in food safety systems.

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Prepared: Halise Yildirim, Health and Agricultural Technician