How the ISO process of Customer Complaints can be automated

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Customer Complaints Process Automation

This application is about the "Customer Complaint Management" as it would be described in the "ISO procedure" of any kind of company. The requirement for the application is to automate the "procedure" of "customer complaint". This means that the successive "steps" of the procedure are automatically forwarded from one employee to another without any kind of "manager" intervention (the "procedure" is the manager). At any time the manager has the ability to see on what tasks (steps) the employees are engaged. He can also see what tasks are "scheduled" for the next days. After a certain period of time, the manager has a complete report on what tasks each employee has been assigned, when has started and when has finished the tasks.


The requirements, put on the application for the "Customer Complaint Procedure", are the following:


"1. Every employee can take calls from customers in order to fill in the form of "customer complaint". The employee puts on the form the complaint subject, the customer name, the problematic product, the quantity and a description of the problem. It is required also to define the "Sales Inspector" responsible for the customer.

2. After posting the form a task assigned to "sales inspector" in order to "accept" or "reject" the complaint.

3. The forwarding of the complaint goes to "Quality Assurance Manager" in order to categorize the complaint and give the rank number for that. At the same time defines the department of the company that is responsible to inspect the cause of the complaint. At this stage, we define also the employees that are going to respond to the customer about the complaint.

4. The procedure sends the complaint to the defined department where the cause of the complaint is inspected.

5. The employ that will respond to customer gets the work and writes on the form whatever said to the customer.

6. The procedure sends the complaint to the CEO of the company in order to be informed for the complaint (and write down some comments on that)."


All of the above requirements are put on a coordinator agent. The action_code of the agent is the following:



     compl_id = __params[1] {...the first parameter is the complaint record id}

     call bpm_setprocedureowner(__activation_user) {.....set the procedure owner}

     {.........................give the registering associate and complaint number.......................}

     assos_id = SelectFrom("SELECT AU_USER FROM AU_USER WHERE (UNAME='",__activation_user,"')")

     num = num + 1
     call UpdateField("P10001_CUST_COMPLAINT",compl_id,"COMPLAINT_NUM",num,"IDATE",crDate,"REG_ASSOSIATE",assos_id)

     cust_id = LookUpId("P10001_CUST_COMPLAINT",compl_id,"CUSTOMER_ID")
     cust_name = LookUpId("AU_BUSINESS",cust_id,"TITLE")

     call bpm_setprocedurebusiness(cust_id) {....we can relate processes with businesses!}

     {...........................complete the initial form completion...............................}

     call bpm_openatonce(0)
     callwait bpm_assign_job ( "New Customer Complaint" , __activation_user , "" , 0 , compl_id )

     sinsp_id = LookUpId("P10001_CUST_COMPLAINT",compl_id,"SALES_INSP_ASSOSIATE")
     sinsp_name = LookUpId("AU_USER",sinsp_id,"UNAME")
     subj = LookUpId("P10001_CUST_COMPLAINT",compl_id,"COMPLAINT_SUBJECT")

     comm = strcat(cust_name," / ",subj)
     comm = Copy(comm,1,80)
     call bpm_setprocedurecomment(comm) {.....set the procedures comment}

     {.............Sales Inspector aproves or rejects the complaint.....................}

     callwait bpm_assign_job ( "Inspect Complaint Valitity" , sinsp_name, "" , 0 , compl_id )

     accept_flag = LookUpId("P10001_CUST_COMPLAINT",compl_id,"INSPECTOR_YES")

     {.............the complaint has been accepted by the sales inspector................}

     if (accept_flag = 1) then

       { the Quality Assurance Manager to assign the responsible associates }

       callwait bpm_assign_job ( "Assign Complaint Roles" , "", "QUALITY ASSURANCE MANAGER" , 0 , compl_id )

       {.....inspecting position}
       insp_pos_id = LookUpId("P10001_CUST_COMPLAINT",compl_id,"POS_INSPECTOR")
       insp_pos_name = LookUpId("AU_POS",insp_pos_id,"POS_D")
       {.....responding assosiate}
       resp_assos_id = LookUpId("P10001_CUST_COMPLAINT",compl_id,"CUSTOMER_RESP_ASSOSIATE")
       resp_assos_name = LookUpId("AU_USER",resp_assos_id,"UNAME")

       {...inspect complaint.......}

       callwait bpm_assign_job ( "Inspect Complaint" , "", insp_pos_name, 0 , compl_id )

       {...respond to customer..................}

       callwait bpm_assign_job ( "Respond Customer for Complaint" , resp_assos_name, "" , 0 , compl_id )

       { CEO..................}

       callwait bpm_assign_job ( "Customer Complaint Information" , "", "CEO" , 0 , compl_id )


    {.......define the complaint as finished.......}
    call UpdateField("P10001_CUST_COMPLAINT",compl_id,"FINISHED_FLAG","1")




We can see the callwait (or split_in_branch) keywords. Those keywords give the opportunity to the agent to wait (until a job has been finished) or to have parallel code execution. Those are capabilities that are not presented every day in a programming language (ok script!). Notice that the callwait "calls" the user's activity as it would be a "program's subroutine". Notice also that we have a flow of procedure that is defined by conditions into the code. This is a case of ad hoc control flow (not known in advance to the programmer!)


We have to admit that the effect (coordination and historic data collection of the procedure) is far too big for the lines of code that are written by the application programmer. To be precise the code is a little bigger (the agent contains the code that "describes" the task (activities) assigned to employees). 

The agent (agent prototype precisely) can be viewed form Right Mouse Click on Application's Background->Developer->Resources->Agent Prototypes. The system creates, for every "service" requested, a new "alive" agent that starts to execute his action_code.


Where we define users and roles?


Another issue is that the jobs are assigned to users (employees) not only by name but also (and mainly) by their roles into the company. The users and roles as they are defined into the application can be found at Menu->System->Users/Positions.


How we activate the agent?


A "new customer complaint" can be activated on the application from the "New Action" button in the left on the application window. In order the users see the activities (jobs) that are assigned to them exit the demo application and log in as the user in question. 


How can the user see the incoming jobs?


Every user has the incoming activities window defined as "Tasks" in the menu. Notice that the same activity is sent to all users that happen to have the same role in the company or organization. When the user "completes" the data that the activity required, he/she "forwards" the completed activity to the next step. Then the activity disappears from the window.


In order for a user to see activities that assigned to him for today or are uncompleted from yesterday, he/she has to activate "Finished Tasks".


How the manager can see the current jobs?


By activating Menu->CPO Control Panel->Active Tasks we see every activity (job) that is assigned at the time and is in the phase of completion, i.e. presented to users "incoming activities" and are worked by them.


How we can evaluate our employees?


When we activate Menu->System->Associates we can see a button captioned "Has Done". By activating it we get all the activities that the user (employee) has finished and by which role. The time of staring and completing each activity is also available. This way the real effort that the user has given to the company can be estimated.


How we can improve the demo application?


The demo application comes with "Developer" capabilities. That means we have the opportunity to change the database schema (Right Click->Developer->Resources->Database Manager->Edit Schema). We can also change the forms (Right Click over a form->Designing).