Complaints about quality

If you find that customers are complaining that the quality of your product or service is lower than they expected, then it is likely that you have one (or both!) or 2 things wrong:

Setting customer expectations:

Do not just sell your product or service; explain to the customer how to get most value from it. Customers complain at times because of something they did just because they did not know what to do or how to do it.

Check your product and marketing material, especially the adjectives you use to describe your product or service. If you use words and phrases such as “award-winning”, “world-class”, “high quality” or “exceptional”, your customers will have very high expectations – regardless of the price that they paid. Take a long hard look at your product or service – are you providing an honest description? It is fine to sell a “cheap and cheerful” product or service as long as your customers understand that and realise that it may not solve all their needs or last forever.

Quality control:

Look at your employees first – do they all understand what quality of product or service you are aiming for? Do they all understand the part they have to play in achieving that? Do you share customer complaints so your employees can learn from them?

Quality control should be an integral part of everyone’s job – from the person who deals directly with the customer through to the person who packages the product.

If you are not sure that this is the case in your business, start to hold regular staff meetings to review customer complaints. Ask your team to come up with improvement ideas and give them the responsibility and authority to work on implementing changes – they will buy into change when they deliver it much more than if you try to impose it!

Here are some practical things you can do to minimise this type of complaint:

  1. Get it right the first time. Review your processes from the customer point of view – where can you make improvements? What checks do you have in place? Do you rely on employees checking their own work? – if yes, then change so everybody checks someone else’s work.
  2. Have a final, failsafe check. There should be a final check before the customer is sent your product or service.
  3. Have service and quality level contracts with any external suppliers. Set standards that both you and your suppliers agree on, and hold them to it.
  4. Avoid “silos”. If you have more than one team involved in producing a product or service, make sure that they communicate regularly and that each understands the work that the other does and what dependencies there are.
  5. Think about quality from a customer perspective. Try to anticipate the customer’s needs.

If you have an accountant, they should be your first stop for business advice. If you don’t have an accountant or they can’t help, BuBul has a wide range of experts available. For more business advice why not follow BuBul on LinkedIn?