Product Recalls: Enhancing Customer Experience


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Photo: gustavofrazao / Adobe Stock

Product recalls are a part of manufacturing, and these recalls effect some of the largest companies in the world. One key difference that these companies have started to make, compared to smaller companies, is that they’re learning how to enhance their customer experience after a recall.

Car manufacturers have been notorious for improving the customer experience due to high levels of recalls in recent years.

Honda was going door-to-door, rechecking some of their customers’ airbags to ensure that they were reinstalled properly and were not defective. GM has to recall some 1.2 million vehicles due to steering and brake recalls.

No matter the scale of the recall, companies can take measures to make sure that their customer experience is enhanced.

Start With Customer Service and Needs

Product recalls will result in a massive influx of customers calling customer support. It’s essential that your business do everything in its power to meet the customer service and needs of your clients.

And this means that:

  • Call centers will need adequate staffing immediately following the recall
  • Agents will need to be trained rapidly to follow your brand’s image
  • Language and scale concerns must be considered and met

Customers will be contacting your business directly, and if you’re keeping them on hold or they receive a busy signal, you’re not enhancing your customer experience.

Offer Refunds When Warranted

A business that has a recall should own up to their mistakes and start working to retain their customers. Ford recalled their transmissions, but what they did next helped them retain the customers that they have. The company decided to correct the transmission issue, but all of the owners that had already paid for their transmission to be fixed were also given a rebate.

The rebate covered the entire cost of the repair, and this allowed the company to retain the customers that may have felt let down by the brand.

Offering to fix the issue is a great start, but when customers have had the issue fixed at their own expense, offering a rebate or refund of the full amount is the best option. A business will lose some money in the process, but the business will be able to keep many of their customers, too.

Honesty and Transparency Will Help

There’s an issue with your product, and now it’s time that you own up to the issue and try and regain the trust of your customers. A few ways of doing this are:

  • Acknowledge the recall publicly
  • Release a blog post and official statement
  • Outline the steps that will be taken in the future to limit potential recalls
  • If hazards exist, explain them to customers and educate them on the proper steps to take to return their product

Businesses need to be prepared for any and all of their products to be recalled. It’s unrealistic to think that a product may be impervious to a design flaw. Public relations need to be ready to act swiftly in the face of a recall, managing the situation and the reaction of consumers.

If the press is allowed to post about the recall before a business, it may cause a major blow to your brand’s image.

Philip Piletic
I have several years of experience in marketing and startups, and regularly contribute to a number of online platforms related to technology, marketing and small business. I closely follow how Big Data, Internet of Things, Cloud and other rising technologies grew to shape our everyday lives. Currently working as managing editor for a UK tech site.


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