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Customer complaints - can your Quality team help reduce them?

Diana Avram-Anghel
Diana Avram-Anghel

‘’It takes months to find a customer …seconds to lose one’’. While complaints are not a sure sign that customers have one foot out the door, the way manufacturers handle negative feedback can be a deal-breaker.

Quality teams do everything in their power to ensure that products are in spec and consistent. They’re devoted to finding the root cause of incidents and to improving the manufacturing process. Even better than understanding why a complaint occurs is knowing how to prevent it. How does a smart QMS reduce variation and help minimize the occurrence of customer complaints? We’re about to find out.

Hey! Wait! I’ve got a new (customer) complaint

Complaints are a sign of flaws, and that quality has not been kept to the same high standard. When the manufactured products don’t meet specifications, complaints are quite understandable. But when products are in spec and customers are still unsatisfied, the quality team may find it difficult to identify clear improvement opportunities.

There are numerous examples when an in-spec product can still result in complaints. For instance, a product that was OK and in-spec when it left the factory but degraded during transportation. Or a product that was shipped too early but was no longer conforming by the time storage became available. Or even a product that has been in-spec when it left the factory is not approved by a customer because they used a different testing method and therefore got different results.

Customer complaints: how does a QMS help?

A smart QMS can help teams to reduce customer complaints and ensures responding to quality concerns in a timely manner. To be more specific, here are a few of the many ways in which AlisQI guarantees consistent quality:

1. Tools that help you with prevention

  • Analytics for all quality processes to detect deviations proactively
  • Built-in risk assessment methodology, to validate your control plans
  • Integrated Standard Operating Procedures to ensure everyone works compliantly
  • Measurement System Analysis to ensure your data is trustworthy

2. Tools that help you understand why a complaint occurred and how to fix it

  • Root cause analysis (5 times why) to identify both symptoms and causes for deviations
  • Statistical Process Control with time filters to compare pre/post adjustment performance
  • Visual snapshots to summarize results
  • Automated triggers to evaluate the effectiveness of actions

Customer Complaints: easy registering and follow-up

AlisQI users register customer complaints on the QESH problem-solving page, a standardized dashboard based on the 8D methodology. This page can be tailored to your specific needs and provides all the components you need to analyze and follow up on a complaint:

  1. Complaint intake – details about who filed the complaint, the date when it was received, product involved batch number and description
  2. Follow-up QESH – details on the owner of the complaint, the complaint type, as well as frequency, severity, and risk priority number
  3. Wrap-up QESH – conclusion based on the follow-up and the financial impact of the complaint

One of the key differentiators of AliSQI is the unique combination of QC and QESH capabilities. That enables us to link complaints and QC data. Imagine how powerful this is when analyzing data in search of the root cause of your complaints. With AlisQI you just click the batch number that is referred to in the complaint intake and you see all data straight away.

You are chipping away at your relationship with your customers every time your product doesn’t come out right the first time. Using the right QMS, helps tremendously in always being prepared and addressing complaints in a timely manner. If you want to learn more about AlisQI and how it can perfect processes and products, schedule a free demo today.