Every good business out there tests their products before delivering them to the customer to ensure that they are safe. However, even with the best testing some potentially dangerous products can slip through and cause a hazard to the consumer. When this happens a product recall is necessary, which can be a challenging prospect for the company.
When a company recalls a product the way that they handle it can really make a difference in whether or not the recall makes or breaks the company’s reputation.
Plan Ahead for the Possibility
Does your business have a contingency plan already in place for what you would do if a product was discovered to be hazardous? Most businesses don’t because they haven’t thought about it, which leaves them scrambling when something does go wrong. However, just like you would rehearse how to exit a burning building during a fire drill it is important to rehearse how you would deal with a PR emergency such as a product recall. A professional field marketing agency could help you to create a plan for a product recall that you can follow should anything happen in the future.
The Sooner you Make the Statement, The Preferable
The moment you know that there may be a threat to public safety you should make the product recall announcement. Waiting for a long time is a bad idea, because your company will be questioned later about why you didn’t act more quickly which would result in many negative effects. If people are injured, become ill or are even killed because of your product, people will wonder whether the tragedy would still have happened if you had made the announcement sooner. As soon as you know about a danger associated with the product, the public needs to be informed.
Take Responsibility for the Mistake
As difficult as it is to take responsibility when something has gone wrong – it is essential. All eyes will be on you regarding this recall and if you are seen to be avoiding criticism your company will be highly criticised. Take the high road and admit what you have done wrong, so that you can move on to fixing it. Consumers will have more respect for the company that is being honest with them than for the company that lies and tries to cover up their mistakes.
All Employees Should Have Accurate and Consistent Information
Every employee that works for you will become a PR rep for your company when they are answering questions about the recall. Make sure that they have the right information to represent the situation accurately and to answer the questions that consumers might have. If your employees are kept in the dark it will not look very professional when they cannot answer questions.
Communicate the Information in Several Ways
Make sure that when you are spreading the message about a defective product it is communicated in many different ways, so that no one out there will miss the important warning. This includes using social media, email, phone and every other possible communications channel. Depending on the scale of your organisation you might need to create a call centre where people can contact your business and ask questions related to the recall.
How Can You Make Sure it Does not Happen Again?
When a product is recalled it is important to find out what happened so that you can figure out how to make sure it never happens again. Was there a flaw in your manufacturing process? Was the material you used dangerous? What can you do to improve the manufacture of the product so that it will no longer be hazardous? This is a chance to learn from your mistakes so that you can avoid recalls in the future. It also underlines the importance of regular inspections in order to ensure that everything is up to standard and that nothing slips through the cracks.
Going through a product recall can be a serious and complex process and it is risky for a business. The steps need to be handled very well so that the business does not damage its reputation. Keep these factors in mind so that you can improve your response to product recalls and manage them in the most effective way possible.
It can be very beneficial to hire the help of a field marketing agency with experience in this area to help during this stressful period of time. The agency will be able to handle all aspects of the recall, ensuring that the company’s reputation stays intact.