Analysing the voice of customers by a hybrid fuzzy decision-making approach in a developing country's automotive market

Hannan Amoozad Mahdiraji, Khalid Hafeez, Ali Asghar Abbasi Kamardi, Hamidreza Kord

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
369 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: This paper analyses the voice of customers (VoCs) using a hybrid clustering multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) approach. The proposed method serves as an efficient tool for how to approach multiple decision-making involving a large set of countrywide customer complaints in the Iranian automotive sector. Design/methodology/approach: The countrywide data comprising 3,342 customer complaints (VoCs) were gathered. A total of seven determinant complaint criteria were identified in brainstorming sessions with three groups (six each) of experts employing the fuzzy Delphi method. The weights of these criteria were assigned by applying the fuzzy best–worst method (FBWM) to identify the severity of the complaints. Subsequently, the complaints were clustered into five categories with respective customer locations (province), car type and manufacturer using the K-mean method and further prioritised and ranked employing the fuzzy complex proportional assessment of alternatives (FCOPRAS) method. Findings: The results indicated that the majority of complaints (1,027) from the various regions of the country belonged to one specific model of car made by a particular producer. The analyses revealed that only a few complaints were related to product quality, with the majority related to service and financial processes including delays in automobile delivery, delays in calculating monthly instalments, price variation, failure to provide a registration (licence) and failure to supply the agreed product. The proposed method is an efficient way to solve large-scale multidimensional problems and provide a robust and reliable set of results. Practical implications: The proposed method makes it much easier for management to deal with complaints by significantly reducing their number. The highest-ranked complaints from customers of the car industry in Iran are those related to delivery time, price alternations, customer service support and quality issues. Surveying the list of complaints shows that paying attention to the four most voiced complaints can reduce them more than 54%. Management can make appropriate strategies to improve the production quality as well as business processes, thus producing a significant number of customer complaints. Originality/value: This paper proposes a comprehensive approach to critically analyse the VoCs by combining qualitative and decision-making approaches including K-mean, FCOPRAS, fuzzy Delphi and FBWM. This is the first paper that analyses the VoCs in the automotive sector in a developing country’s context involving large-scale decision-making problem-solving.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-425
Number of pages27
JournalManagement Decision
Issue number2
Early online date31 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

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  • Fuzzy COPRAS
  • Fuzzy Delphi
  • Fuzzy best–worst method
  • K-mean
  • Voice of customers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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