In a B2B environment, complaints is a recurring and unpleasant element of the everyday work for all buying and supplying companies. While a complaint and the issue it expresses can be critical, both sides should use this opportunity to improve the current processes, but also to keep up the high quality of the offered products and services.
This is the reason why it is advised to Small and medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to introduce a systematic complaints management system. An electronic complaints management system offers the advantage to easily and efficiently send and document complaints, but also the opportunity to communicate and act quickly for supplying companies.
In the framework of certifications such as ISO-9001, it is necessary to systematically collect and record complaints. A digital system to manage your compaints can help to keep an overview on the quality of your product and to guarantee your customer the best service.
Best practices for an efficient complaints process:
The speed and precision of a complaint answer will highly depend on the quality of the message first sent. Here are a few tips to make your complaint precise and easy to manage for your supplier:
- Identify the product being subject of a complaint (ID-number, model, etc)
- Describe precisely the reason of your complaint (see the common reason below)
- Evidence of the complaint: pictures, lab report,...
- Give contact data of a person who can be contacted for further information
- Share the complaint with the supplier as soon as possible
Once the supplier received your complaint, it will be its responsability to react quickly with a replacement or find a agreement to solve the issue as soon as possible.
Common reasons for a complaint:
The description of the problem must be as complete and precise as it you can make it, with references, times, places, and exact data. Here are a couple of most common problems you can then further develop to adapt them to your case:
- Damaged goods / Damaged packaging
- Wrong or under delivery
- Delayed delivery or deadline not respected
- Unloading delay
- Quality problems
- Foreing bodies in delivered goods
- Missing documentation
- Late service provider
Benefits of using a digital complaints management system:
Using a digital complaints management system can have several advantages for the suppliers as for the buying companies.
- Both sides can simultaneously access to the system and get the updated and newest information on a specific topic.
- Documentation is made much easier through a digital process: all evidences, internal comments and communication exchanged during the complaint process can be archived and ready-to-use at any time
- It can be used as during the evaluation of the supplier to acclaim the quick answer (or signale the lack of responsivity) to a problem
- The analyse of the collected documentation and their scalation can help quickly improving the whole supply process and avoiding new complaints in the future.
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Do you have a specific tip or experience related to the complaints process? Share them with us in the comment section below.