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The tables have turned on customer care


May 10th 2012, 07:55

FMCG brands need to give more attention to their consumer care strategies as regulatory frameworks and consumer demands dictate the accuracy and speed at which they respond to grievances and complaints. 

In light of the Consumer Protection Act, a brand can be held accountable for large fines if a complaint is not handled correctly. This does not simply mean providing accurate feedback in good time; it also means keeping a full audit trail of how each and every complaint is handled from the time it was received.

Added to this is that consumers, themselves, have become more demanding and expect instant accessibility to brands.

They have more opportunities to communicate with brands than ever before, from calling a customer hotline to sharing an unfortunate experience on a blog, or social network.

“Social media is a totally different ball game. The people in these social media communities talk about you whenever they want, however they want, and to whomever they want. The conversation goes on with or without you,” says Eugene Du Plessis, who heads up Cyber and Social Media at 121 Outsource, a provider of outsourced consumer care.
With this in mind FMCG brands can no longer handle complaints like a one-way street.

They need to actively engage in conversations with consumers, especially on social networks, where consumers have carte blanche to say how they feel about a brand, whenever they choose.

While an FMCG brand can opt to handle these customer care challenges in-house, an outsourced provider already has the knowledge and technical expertise to handle grievances and provide feedback immediately.

For example, 121 Outsource has a dedicated call centre that operates around the clock and has also acquired software that allows brands to probe comments and complaints generated from these social media networks.

Outsourcing these services also gives brands the opportunity to focus on its core business activities without the difficulty of having to learn the complicated language of consumer care.

In an environment where consumer opinion has the power to make or break a brand’s reputation and where the regulatory frameworks keep changing, FMCG brands that don’t have a solid customer care strategy, need to get to the drawing board quickly.

Find out more information about 121 Outsource


Editor at Capacity Holdings

Focusing on general issues that affect the FMCG and Retail Industries.