Despite the overall rise in recalls in recent years, a lot of misinformation about recall execution persists. Below are some of the top myths companies should dispel in order to be fully prepared for the eventuality of a recall.
1. Small recalls are no big deal.
Sure, a recall of just a few units can be managed easily. But there is more to the impact of a recall than size. Equally important is the impact on end users. If a serious safety issue is involved, even a recall that only affects a small number of customers or a handful of locations can be devastating to brand reputation – especially if it is poorly managed.
2. Internal call centers are usually sufficient.
For less risky recalls, this may be the case. But most recalls result in an influx of calls from concerned consumers. This may last only a day or two, or it can go on for weeks or even months. The public understands that safety issues arise and they are typically willing to overlook them, but the inability to reach a live agent is one of their most common complaints.
3. It’s best to let retailers pull affected product themselves.
While retailers do have processes in place for removing affected products, they may not include examining and separating it from nonaffected product. The result is often “self-sweeping,” in which entire lines and brands are removed. In addition to preventing a loss of revenue, employing an outside field force to remove only affected product can help strengthen retailer relationships – which can give bottom lines a boost in the long term.
4. Doing the bare minimum is fine.
Just because a regulatory agency only mandates a certain number of notifications, for example, doesn’t mean your task is done when you fulfill that request. Agencies are increasingly putting pressure on manufacturers to increase response and repair rates, and many are seeking to expand requirements. By going above and beyond, companies not only protect the public and their brands – they are also better prepared for regulatory changes.
5. It won’t happen to me.
The fact is – it happens nearly every day. For food and pharmaceutical companies, it may be a positive contamination test. For automobile, consumer product, and medical device manufacturers, it may be a report of a malfunction. Business leaders should ask themselves this question: “What would I do if a safety issue were brought to my attention tomorrow?” If they don’t know the answer, they should take steps to prepare a plan, test it, and look into recall insurance – before they find themselves facing a crisis.
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