Of all the factors that impact recall response rates, including age of the product, frequency of use, and price, direct notifications are the single greatest determiner. But that means consumer product manufacturers facing a recall need contact information, such as a home address, an email, or a phone number. Traditionally, that has meant that high product registration rates were necessary to facilitate these notifications. While product registration can be a tough sell for many consumers, there are ways to increase the number of consumers who opt-in. And as technology has advanced, other means have emerged as well.
1. Online & phone orders – With the exception of “ship to store” options, the vast majority of online and phone orders require a consumer’s address for delivery, along with a phone number and/or email address to contact the consumer with delivery updates. That provides consumer product manufacturers experiencing a recall with opportunities to reach out to their customers directly – but only if the data is in a usable format. If it isn’t, recall partners can often help sort the data to facilitate outreach.
2. Warranty registrations & extended warranty options – In some cases, consumers who wouldn’t bother to fill out a registration form will opt for an extended warranty plan, and that requires filling out information that should provide an opportunity for direct recall notifications.
3. Service requests & replacement part orders – Records of requests for repairs, maintenance, and other service calls often contain contact information that can be used to notify some consumers directly. In some cases, the issue may even turn out to be related to the product defect.
4. Loyalty programs/newsletter subscriptions – Many retailers have begun using the information gathered from these services to notify their customers of product recalls. In the case of loyalty programs, many companies can reach out only to those customers who purchased the product in question. Newsletter subscriptions don’t offer that specificity, but they are a good way of reaching customers already loyal to a brand and therefore more likely to have purchased a recalled product.
5. Added registration incentives – Consumers often don’t see any reason to fill out product registration forms, whether by mail or online. If manufacturers want to increase registration rates, adding an extra incentive may help. This could include a simple accessory or a discount on the purchase of another product.
Even with all of these methods, in most cases manufacturers won’t be able to reach each and every customer directly. And it may take assistance from experienced recall management companies to take the raw data and make it useful.
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