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Crisis Management: Dealing with Recalls

Most companies are so busy worrying about their product launch that they neglect to consider the possibility of a product recall.

Of course, avoiding critical mistakes during the product launch stage can help limit the amount of recalls your company experiences.

But sometimes, even if you do everything right, your company may find itself having to recall a product. It pays to be well-prepared, as recalls can have a significant impact on a business - especially if they’re not handled well.

One key to handling product recalls successfully is to switch from the mindset of an engineer to that of a customer.

Rather than being annoyed that the recall is happening, turn it around and think about what your customers are experiencing. You want to do whatever you can to keep those customers, so thinking about the recall from their point of view will go a long way to managing your recall crisis smoothly. The key is to act strategically, not emotionally.

Here are a few things you should consider when creating a strategy for dealing with recalls.

Be Proactive

Help stop recalls before they start by being as prepared as possible and avoiding a disastrous product launch. Even though you never want to have to deal with a recall, it’s better to have a plan in place just in case, than to have a crisis with no way of dealing with it. It’s a good idea to create a recall manual that outlines the procedures to be taken in case a recall occurs. One employee should be assigned the responsibility of overseeing the recall program. The recall program lead can then identify key managers throughout the organization to carry out the program as the need arises.

A thorough recall response program considers the implications for all relevant business functions. Usually the program will include functional areas such as policy and planning, product development, communications, and logistics and information systems.

Act Quickly

Creating a designated response team in advance will help deal with the recall as quickly and efficiently as possible. Speed is key when it comes to dissipating the effects of a recall. The quicker you can resolve the issue and communicate with customers, the better.

Offer a Full Refund with No Questions Asked

There is a definite link between recalls and customer safety and satisfaction. Offering a full refund with no questions asked lets customers know that you care about their happiness and you are willing to do whatever it takes to rectify the situation and keep them as a customer.

Communicate with Customers Often

In a recall situation, customers like to be kept informed. Communicating with customers on a regular basis will restore and strengthen your company’s reputation. This becomes even more important when the recall was due to a safety concern. Make sure you have a way of tracking product sales and getting in touch with your customers.

A recall situation generally goes through three stages: discovery of the issue, the recall, and the aftermath or follow up. Make sure you have a plan for dealing with recalls at each stage. Consider working with a product safety and compliance expert to help you avoid a recall. At Pivot International, we offer many services to help you produce the best products possible. Contact us today to learn more.

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