Increasing Efficiency in Complaint Handling by Standardized Reporting of Investigations

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction made to a company in relation to their products or services where a response is expected. Efficiency in responding to customer complaints is essential in the biotechnology industry. The Semester-in-Residency Project was conducted at CCR Company. CCR Company is a company located in San Diego County that manufactures in-vitro diagnostic products such as quality controls, calibrators, calibration verifiers and reagents used for laboratory instruments. The majority of these products are purchased by medical laboratories to ensure that their instruments are functioning properly. Taking action to correct any issues with these products is crucial before they affect the interpretation of patients’ test results. Ensuring that an instrument is functioning properly reduces the risk of obtaining false results. The delivery of satisfactory products, free from all mistakes, is a difficult goal to achieve. The purpose of this project was to implement a standardized reporting system for investigations and to decrease resolution time for complaints received at CCR Company. In order to accomplish this, a Complaint Investigation Report template that organized and clarified the steps taken to investigate and resolve complaints was developed. This report was implemented for all complaints received from November 1st, 2013 to February 28th, 2014. The implementation of the report showed a reduction in resolution time. The average resolution time decreased from 49.6 days in the time-frame from November 2012 to February 2013 to 42 days in the time-frame November 2013 to February 2014 when the report was implemented. Customer satisfaction records were also examined with the assumption that they are impacted by the resolution time of a complaint. If a complaint investigation is handled in an efficient timely manner, it is likely that the customer will be more satisfied with the outcome than when a complaint resolution time is long. The Complaint Investigation Report was also used to provide customers with a summary of the investigation for their complaint. A plan for the report is to make it an official fill-in document that CCR’s personnel can use to document complaint investigations.