How To Get Through A Product Recall

How To Get Through A Product Recall

The prospect of a product recall is not one that many business owners relish. Almost by definition, its occurrence means that something has gone disastrously wrong with your product. In some cases, this might mean that it’s inconvenienced your customers; in some cases, it might have caused them physical harm. Whatever the consequences of the recall, it’s certain that some degree of damage will have been inflicted on your reputation, and that guarding against this damage is essential. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you might conduct your recall so that the harm it causes is minimised.

Be apologetic

The first things to do is to issue an apology – something has gone wrong, and it’s certain that to some degree, your company is to blame. Don’t try to shift the blame onto someone else; take responsibility from the outset. While you might expect to take a loss from this, many customers appreciate that things don’t always go according to plan, and that a prompt ‘mea culpa’ is the right thing to do. If you’re especially worried about looking incompetent or uncaring, then you might issue an apology for the inconvenience of the recall, rather than the state of the product itself.

Be fast

The longer a recall drags on for, the greater the reputational damage it will inflict. For this reason, it’s important to get things done quickly. If you take the right actions, but you take your time over it, then your customers will see it as dithering. Remove this impression by acting as swiftly and decisively as possible. This is where bringing in an outside agency might be especially worthwhile – they’ll have the expertise and experience necessary to act quickly. An organisation like Tactical Solutions, which offers product recall as part of a suite of field marketing services, might prove invaluable to your business in its time of need.

Be co-operative

During the recall, you’ll need to co-ordinate with multiple groups and individuals. You’ll need to consider your customers, to begin with, as well as the retailers who might have sold them the product. You’ll need to communicate with government agencies, too, and play by the rules they’ve set out. If you seem to be struggling against such agencies, then it might seem like you’re dodging responsibility – which can conflict with the other principles we’ve already touched upon.

Part of good co-operation comes from ensuring that your message is out there on the news media, and social media. Be as clear and concise as possible – if there’s a vacuum of information, then you can be sure that people will invent their own (invariably unfavourable) stories.

Offer compensation

If your customers have bought your product in the first place, then it follows that they have at least some interest in what it can do for them. It’s a lot easier to keep these customers than it will be to win over new ones – and so it might be worth offering them something to compensate them for the inconvenience. In the long-run, this expenditure might prove shrewd.

Investigate the cause

Not every product recall is evidence that the product itself is bad. Sometimes problems occur within perfectly good products. But it’s still worth investigating the issue which prompted the recall and fixing it. If you relaunch your product and the same fault occurs again, with another embarrassing recall to follow, then your misfortune will appear a lot like incompetence. Your customers, even if they’re loyal, will be a great deal less forgiving the second time around.

Needless to say, it’s unwise to proceed with a follow-up launch until well after the investigation has been completed and its recommendations implemented. While you may be eager to make it up to your customers, acting in haste has the potential to cause further error – which would be bad news for the reputation of your business.

Plan in advance

Product recalls can occur at the drop of a hat, and, as we’ve already noted, once they begin, time is of the essence. In order that you’re able to react as swiftly as possible, it’s important that you have a plan in place before disaster strikes. This plan should be as concrete and flexible as possible, and all of its major elements should be taken care of beforehand. If you’re working with a competent outside organisation like Tactical Solutions, they’ll have the experience necessary to formulate such a plan and deliver it straight away. As such, forming an arrangement with such a company will offer you a measure of insurance against a potentially damaging mishap.

Category Business