How should Estée Lauder’s analytics team respond to a spike in online complaints from its customers?
The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) is a leading manufacturer and marketer of prestige skincare, makeup, fragrance, and haircare products with annual sales of over $14 billion in 2020. ELC had a long-standing commitment to “High Touch” customer service, inviting and tracking all feedback from consumers. ELC had recently moved from a manual to an automated tracking platform, positioning the company to more efficiently handle customer feedback. This platform and the data it aggregated was put to the test in August 2020 when the Consumer Care Analytics & Insights Group noticed an uptick in contact volume. The team also noticed that the increase was driven almost exclusively by complaints. The spike was especially cause for concern given that ELC had a 100% return policy with no questions asked, so customer complaints often led to returns and lost revenue. In this case, students are asked to consider potential root causes of the increased online customer complaints—and based on their hypotheses, what type of analysis and potential interventions they would recommend.
Case ID: 220203
Supplemental Materials: Teaching Note , ELC Instructor Supplement 1 - xbar stoplight game , ELC Instructor Supplement 2 - Red bead game , ELC Instructor Supplement 3 - Consumer Feedback Data