Time for continuous improvement

A complaint? Take this opportunity!

Photo: Dean Hochmann -“Arrows” by Flickr

A complaint is an opportunity, a chance. That’s what’s often stated. Normally we are happy with an opportunity. But, are we really happy when we receive a complaint?

What can we do to be happy with a complaint?

  • When we arrive to satisfy the customer on the way we follow up the complaint
  • Avoiding that the same complaint repeats itself
  • Having a limited number of complaints. Not too much “opportunities”!

Satisfy the customer again

The origin of the complaint is in the fact that the product does not comply with the demands of the customer. It’s important to verify whether the specific demand of the customer was known. If not, it has to be made known in the organisation.

Listening well to the customer is important. Ask yourself whether this process is working well. Companies change, it’s possible, that an element was “lost on the road”.

Avoidance of a repetition of the complaint

We cannot be taken seriously in the case of a recurring complaint. The measures has not worked or were not well implemented. The cause of the complaint has not been solved. Again we receive a complaint. It’s a “chance” because we still have the possibility to catch up.

Go very deeply (100%) in the treatment of the cause of the claim. Avoid that complaints are getting a habit in the company. Do everything to avoid (recurring) complaints. Only by doing so, you are working on continuous improvement.

There is a quick win in the fact that you are continuously improving and that you can demonstrate it. Other advantages: less complaints means less work afterwards, less costs (time, penalties and meetings) and higher satisfaction levels.

Reduce or minimise the number of complaints

Minimising the number of complaints allows us to have the overview. In the case you receive a new complaint you can really focus on it, with the whole organisation.

In the case of minimisation of complaints, it is by tuning the product 100 % with the customer demands and expectations. This can be achieved by:

  • Knowing exactly what your customer expects from your product
  • Listening to your customer
  • Doing customer satisfaction surveys
  • Use the data and build it in your processes and your product
  • Verify whether everything has been built in (audit)
  • Work with the whole organisation on this improvement process

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