Is it possible to reduce customer complaints by 50% in 1 year?

Reduce Customer Complaints by 50% This Year!
Yeah, right!….. Many food businesses believe that reducing the number of customer complaints is a bit like searching for the Holy Grail; and the ability to reduce them by half, would make you the most sought-after food manager, this side of the pot at the bottom of the rainbow…
So how did Hovis; one of the biggest food supply companies in the UK manage to achieve a massive 50% reduction in complaints last year? (interview with Hovis CEO published in the Grocer on 8th October 2015, Link to this article is below)
Did you read it too and think: “Not a chance!” It would be the reaction of most Food Managers battling with this dragon, and achieving a reduction of even 10% in a year can seem unachievable. But why is this true?

We Already Have Reams of Complaint Data

Are they ‘real’ first-hand complaints?
If you supply a UK private label, your complaints will come to you from the retailers and often are sadly lacking in useful information that can be successfully investigated, leaving the impression that the end users are only complaining to obtain a free voucher.
You have already tried every new theory:
As every new ‘fool-proof strategy’ came along, you applied them with vigour – to no avail. Purges, purges, projects, swot teams, fishbone diagrams, root cause analysis, you name it…  But the level of complaints did not change substantially.
Too many different reasons for complaints
When you look at your complaint graphs you see your foreign bodies, taste and texture, packaging complaints, and many others. Some categories have more complaints than others but, there is no single root cause of any specific type of complaint that can be fixed.
You think you find a root cause & implement changes
Sometimes a cause for complaint appears to have a solution, which you implement at great cost to your bottom line – but the complaint figures remain fairly static. What’s going on?

bill gates on customer service

GIGO – Garbage in, Garbage out
Generally, food safety teams are certainly not suffering from a lack of data; they are suffering from a lack of the right data. Think about the thousands of paper and electronic records that relate to your own customer complaints data & sales volumes.
The real solution to the problem lies in being able to analyse it accurately, across all the different systems and processes in your business, but this would need a specific software programme to achieve; and no single department or process in your line can make any significant changes on its own.
A Software Solution does exist
Following a huge investment and working closely with some market leaders in the UK food industry, the QADEX software module ensures that all your company data can be used effectively to drive new insights, greater business intelligence and deep dive analytics that really can make a difference to your complaints figures.
Data across supplier risk assessment, supplier approval, raw material specifications, finished product specifications, QA checks, vendor scorecards, customer complaints management and product launch management can easily be used to provide exciting new intelligence. This is all delivered to you in the form of a business intelligence dashboard, complete with data analytics.
Software that slices and dices your data
Finding value in this data lies totally in the ability to analyse it and derive actionable business intelligence (BI). Using the QADEX BI dashboards, you can instantly slice and dice complaints data any which way you choose to identify every possible anomaly or pattern.
Brainstorming sessions where you slice and dice data across thousands of complaints will quickly give you insights which you can take into the factory, action and quickly see if there has been an impact on complaints numbers.
See the complete article about Hovis here:
Dive into your data
A brand new mind-set is beginning to change results for a lot of food businesses, they are experiencing an efficient and slick reporting system, by deep diving into their data, gaining new insights and taking action that really is beginning to kill those dragons!