Could Your Brand Handle a Recall?

Michele Warg
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Companies are often faced with challenges, but when a product is recalled, one of the primary challenges is the company brand. Although your firm's reputation may take a slight hit, there are ways to recover from a recall with grace and with the opportunity to secure more loyal customers and improve your customer service strategies. When your company faces a product recall, take immediate action to prevent further damage.

Focus on Communication

The uncertainty of a product's effectiveness is often the primary concern of customers when a product is recalled. Show that you understand this frustration and uncertainty and preserve your company brand by keeping the lines of communication open. Hire service professionals to handle an influx of calls and online requests, and offer a live chat option on your website. Many companies also host press conferences to address how they plan to handle recalls and to reassure customers that their product lines have not been impacted. Provide the answers your customers seek through multiple communication platforms, including social media, to appease your existing client base.

Offer Alternatives or Refunds

When a product is recalled, each of your customers expects to receive an alternative product, a quick fix or a refund. If possible, do your best to make the wrong right again. Own up to the mistake, and communicate with clients regarding how your company plans to rectify the situation. For example, Ford Motor Company faced a recall of transmissions in early 2016 and immediately owned up to the manufacturing mistake. Ford owners were provided with rebates for repair costs already completed. As a result, many consumers felt as if the company acted in good faith, which ultimately helped to improve the potential hit to its company brand.

Inform the Public

Focus on producing materials that help to better inform customers of the consequences of a product recall. Enhance your company brand by publicizing the recall, contacting consumers who have purchased the product and educating the public on how the recall can be handled. Avoid holding back any risks associated with using the product before rectifying the recall. A company that withholds pertinent information not only runs the risk of damaging the company brand but also puts itself in a legal situation that can significantly impact its financial future. Show your client base that your company is transparent and willing to offer customer service that addresses the recall directly.

Although a product recall is never welcome news, your firm can divert negative attention and potential damage to your company brand by addressing the mistake as soon as possible. Show consumers that you regret the errors that led to the recall and that you are willing to do what it takes to make their experience with your firm a pleasant one.

Photo Courtesy of Stuart Miles at


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