One team, one goal 

The consumer is the crucial final link in the food chain. He buys your products and consumes them. Occasionally, he has a complaint about a product. Most cases are not that serious and can be dealt with quickly and smoothly. Sometimes, however, more attention is required

We have recently seen a number of critical and peculiar cases where that extra attention turned out to be of the utmost importance...

Some complaints can be very critical (dangerous foreign body, allergic reaction or illness), others very peculiar (aggressive tone, strange question).

In those cases, alarm bells should go off and there should be increased vigilance in dealing with them.

Good collaboration between the consumer services and the quality department is paramount at that instant. Both look at the complaints from their own experience and expertise. They have a complementary role and must speak with one voice.

3 tips!

Do not make promises & respond quickly

When dealing with a critical or peculiar complaint, one must quickly give a first reaction (1). This reaction is primarily a “receipt confirmation” for the consumer and offers the opportunity to ask for additional information (telephone number, product details). In this initial phase, you are not to make any promises or give any explanation.

First, you have to discuss with the quality department how to handle this matter. It may be necessary to collect the foreign body (2) for further investigation. Do not put the responsibility on the consumer to send it in, but take care of it yourself.

This way, you can quickly carry out the investigation (3) without the risk of losing the object.

Finally, you can get back to the consumer (4) and offer hima replacement product, a coupon or a package. Always evaluate whether your product is still wanted after this critical complaint.

Dive deep

Look at the complaint and all the available information from both perspectives: the consumer and your company.

How is the tone of the message, are there excessive or no demands, what are the possible causes, could this be a bigger problem, does the story seem very improbable or not at all, ...

Contact us!

In case of exceptional complaints (very aggressive communication, unusual foreign body, difficult or delicate situation, ...), you can contact us.

Thanks to our 35 years of experience and expertise in this field, we have witnessed the most diverse situations and can advise you on how to deal with such complaints.

Thanks to your input in the past, we have been able to expose some fraudulent consumers and protect companies from certain practices.

Food Security helps her members by:

Looking into your critical, peculiar or difficult complaints. Thanks to this exchange of information, we are able to develop valuable knowledge within the sector and advise you even better.

Contact us!

Sharing useful information or investigating curious “phenomena” through our mailings on a regular basis.

Offering a training in "Sensitive dialogue with the consumer", which focuses on contact with consumers not only on the phone, via e-mail or social media but also in real life.

More information!

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