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Acceptable Complaint Level - Please Help

Acceptable Complaint Level - Please Help

Acceptable Complaint Level - Please Help

(OP)
Hi,

I hope I can get help with regard to this topic as I just started a job with an Electronics company and I need to impress them with a project I have been put on. I was hoping for any help or literature or being pointed in the right direction for this project.

The project is to find an acceptable "Complaint per million" or "CSAT" level for a new product. A complaint can either be product related (hard) OR service related (soft).

The way I see it is that there should be no upper limit to CSAT i.e. The ultimate goal should be to strive for 0 complaints (Continuous Improvement) - although acknowledged that this is almost impossible.

However how do I start to find a "acceptable" lower level for complaints for a product. Is there any documents or theory or advise where even to start with finding this figure/level.

Aside: What might help me is if anyone has experience finding the acceptable DPMO for a new product or anything else similar.


Please help as I'd love to keep this job and impress them as jobs are short at the moment.


Thanks.

RE: Acceptable Complaint Level - Please Help

The baseline acceptable level should be partially built into the pricing. Typically, when developing pricing, the unit cost includes a "warranty cost" which is the amortized cost of estimated warranty work, which is obviously at no cost to the user, although, there might be some leeway for shipping costs to/from the user. So, a starting point is to figure out what the complaint level is for existing products, and what the built-in warranty cost was.

TTFN
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RE: Acceptable Complaint Level - Please Help

(OP)
Hi IRstuff,

Thank you for your reply.

Does your suggestion not presume that all complaints result in a product replacement i.e A warranty cost. However as "complaints" include service complaints I think the acceptable warranty budget/level of returns would have a limited scope and not represent ALL complaints. Or am I wrong in saying this?

Also as this is a completely new product would you suggest getting the complaint level for the closest similar product made by the company.


Thanks

RE: Acceptable Complaint Level - Please Help

Warranty cost covers everything that is covered by explicit fees. If you do not pay for the person answering the phone through the price, how are you going to pay for them?

Historical data is always better than guesses. People tend to be optimistic when guessing. History is undeniable.

TTFN
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RE: Acceptable Complaint Level - Please Help

(OP)
I'm skeptical that historical Warranty data on an older product takes into account service complaints. Like any warranty calculations I've done in the past set a Returns Budget for a product divided by cost per Return gives the probability of defects (i.e. # of Returns). This # of Returns is then the acceptable level.

In my experience this figure is only defects or returns and NOT soft complaints. I realize that you are saying that the Budget of Returns (as stated above) must consider/include the Customer Service staff cost - this is true (in my experience) on the reverse logistics aspect of things i.e. Pay staff to deal with returns, How much will it cost to return the product and send a new one, Pay staff to inspect and Pay staff to dispose or refurbish.

However (again in my experience) the customer support staff that deal with service (non refund) issues such as logistic delays are not factored into a Warranty - But these are still "complaints" that need to be factored into my project. This complaints are just registered grievances from the customer (eg email complaint to a manager) that need to be recorded. These grievances dont do any financial damage (i.e. Returns etc) to the company but rather do intangible damage such as effecting the reputation of the brand.

RE: Acceptable Complaint Level - Please Help

(OP)
Thanks IRsuff.


I wonder is there any other way of looking at this? Coming at the project from another angle as well as looking at warranty.

RE: Acceptable Complaint Level - Please Help

Acceptable complaint level is not an engineering question; it's a management and political question. Aside from a platitudinous notion of "zero defects" that's pretty much it.

Beyond that, I would still be looking at historical data. Are your current complaint levels "acceptable?" What about your competitors, or people in a somewhat similar industry?

TTFN
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