Using Feedback to Keep the Consumer at the Heart of a Multinational Manufacturer

Our client markets over 400 major brands in the food, personal care and home care categories. It operates in over 80 countries worldwide across both developed and emerging markets. Consumer feedback is vitally important to the whole of the company and in particular to the quality assurance and marketing departments to ensure that diverse consumers continue to be satisfied with the company’s products.

The Vision

The company’s consumer care centres in 80 countries receive feedback from over 2 million consumers a month by telephone, mail, email, social media, fax and in-person contact. As well as responding directly to individual feedback, the company has for many years looked at trends in praise and complaints from each of the markets to spot issues. To become even more responsive to consumer preferences, the company anticipated significant benefit in providing detailed information to the business users enabling them to address opportunities and issues raised by consumers much faster.

Representatives in the consumer care centres record feedback comments in the original local language, and tag these as a query, complaint, praise or suggestion. The objective was to bring all this data together to calculate aggregate KPIs by product and market, and also to give drill-through capability so that users could read the raw consumer feedback.


Fulfilling the Vision

Thorogood has delivered a data store using the Microsoft SQL Server technology stack, including data integration, analytic modelling and reporting capabilities. Consumer feedback is collected on a monthly basis in both qualitative and quantitative formats by the consumer care centres; Microsoft SharePoint BI tools further enable users to handle and manipulate data through the front-end dashboards.

A key feature of the system is the automatic translation of all consumer feedback into English – for example, a comment from a Brazilian consumer is immediately as useful to the user as that from a British or American consumer. The system also allows users to see how product performance varies depending on the country and cultural habits. 

The client now has global visibility of the volume of praise and complaints, and can also drill into the numbers to see underlying consumer comments. The inclusion of the package production identification code along with the feedback permits users to track praise and complaints on a consolidated basis back to the factory, machine and shift where the product was manufactured, and through each stage of the supply chain between manufacture and consumer.

The system currently has over 1000 users and its reports are used throughout the company up to the highest level, making the system an essential part of keeping the consumer at the heart of everything that the company does. The system is currently live in all of the 80+ countries in which the company operates.

The business is delighted with the result:

“This system allows the Voice of the Consumer to be very loud within the organization by enabling us to see the overview, to look at trends and to get to the detail of what the consumer actually said. A very powerful tool to drive improvement of key quality indicators”.

Director Global Quality.


Next Steps

It is seen as valuable to extend the data model and data sourcing to increase the granularity of product information available within the system, and to increase the frequency of data refreshes from monthly to weekly.

The company is also planning to integrate actual sales data into the solution so that KPI’s can take into account the total market volume, helping the business to prioritize action.


Want to Know More?

If you would like to know more about what can be achieved with Business Intelligence and Analytics and would like to discuss your options with an independent specialist, please get in touch with Evelyn Heyes in the UK ( or Trevor Jones in the US (