By Stacey Tomasoni
Stop thinking of your recall as just a pain in the neck.
If you do practice good product recall management — with a solid strategy in place and enough resources —, a recall could be one of the best things that ever happened to your organisation.
Think I’m crazy? Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. If two companies recall a product, would you rather deal with one that sends you to seven different customer service representatives and keeps you on hold for 30 minutes – or one that immediately responds to your concerns in a professional manner?
Your customers are thinking the same thing about your brand. If you’ve been good to them until now, customers will appreciate you handling your recall with grace. The faster, friendlier and more forthcoming you are with information, the likelier they’ll be to stick with you after the recall storm has passed. Here are a few things to consider for effective product recall management that can boost your brand image.
Product recall management RISK
Four factors can make your customers think highly of you during a recall: reassurance, immediacy, seamlessness and keenness, or RISK. Clients that have worked with Datacom on product recall management find demonstrating these qualities when engaging with customers results in fewer complaints. A few organisations have even received positive comments about their product recall management approach.
Practising reassurance as part of an effective product recall management strategy means letting your customers know two things as early as possible: how your recall affects them and what they need to do. The easiest way to start a panic about your recall is by keeping customers in the dark. Key in this piece of product recall management is immediacy, or reaching out to affected customers as soon as possible, so they know if they are or are not affected.
Seamlessness fits into how you structure customer relationship communications during product recall management. Don’t send customers to a slew of different phones numbers, web sites or service centres to get their questions answered and their recalled products fixed. Make it as easy as possible for customers to pre-qualify for your recall.
Keenness in product recall management is showing earnestness and diligence in your recall. Don’t have apathetic customer service representatives speaking to hysterical customers. Don’t fail to follow up with the customer. Take responsibility during product recall management and proactively engage your customer base.
Have a multi-channel strategy for product recall management
One of the ways to practice RISK during product recall management and potentially boost brand sentiment is by engaging with customers across channels — phone, email, SMS, chat and Twitter, for instance. Offering communication through these channels makes customers feel like you’re working for them. You’re interacting with them on their time, in their preferred communication method. Customers who can chat to a customer service representative after work while they’re scanning status updates on Facebook are less likely to find your recall disruptive to their time and nerves.
Making product recall management effective while preserving or boosting brand image is no small task. To cover all your bases, consider an outsourcer offering product recall services that can give you an extra hand. Product recall services offered through Datacom offer a centralised way to reach out to customers, manage recall progress and report on compliance. Our extra product recall services can mean the difference between a recall that costs you time, money and customer loyalty and one that not only makes current customers happy, but attracts prospective ones as well.
Stacey Tomasoni has worked with Datacom for four years in a number of critical executive roles across the business. Her current role as General Manager, Australia has seen her lead large-scale operations across multiple sites, driving a number of positive business outcomes for both Datacom and its clients.
Stacey specialises in a number of areas, including rapid deployment of resources to respond to unexpected events, adoption of multi-channel resources, with a focus on self-help and call elimination, and using social media to listen, react and engage.