Defective Products: How to Manage Public Recalls

by J.B. Maverick

2 min read

It’s important to satisfy whatever companies and retail outlets receive your products and that, ultimately, consumers buying the goods are happy. You may face a time when one or more products are defective and determine that goods need to be recalled. There are a number of reasons why a public recall might be necessary and several steps to follow to carry out the recall successfully.

Why to Recall

The most common and serious reason for a public recall is safety. Any good produced is designed to fill a need. Defective products with serious health implications need to be taken off the market as quickly as possible; they pose a threat to consumers in addition to failing to fill the need they were intended to meet. Failing to listen to consumers’ concerns over defective products can be detrimental to public health and safety and also pose a risk to your company. If you have determined that a recall is necessary, it’s important to handle it strategically.

Have a Plan in Place

It’s best to have a plan for a major public recall already in place before you ever need one, with procedural steps outlined. Work with your team to plan out the various elements involved in recalling large amounts of products. Assign responsibilities to specific departments and even specific members of departments. You might periodically do a mock test of your procedure to make sure that all of the teams are working together properly. If you have to undertake a major recall, the process will run much more smoothly and experience far fewer flaws with a tested plan of action in place.

Keep Detailed Reports

As products are manufactured, shipped, and sold, keep detailed reports of every step of each process. Review these documents on a regular basis. If you notice a continual issue with certain aspects, institute additional monitoring for better product quality control. It’s also important to address major red flags with products. This can be time-consuming, but it may prevent the need for a major product recall.

Communicate Efficiently

Once a defective product reaches the point of massive recall, it’s vital to get the message out to every retailer, store, and consumer that possesses the defective good. Commercials, advertisements in stores, and notices online are all good ways to ensure that everyone needing to know about the product recall hears about it. When possible, have customers who have purchased the product contacted directly, either by phone or email.

Listen and Make Changes

There may be considerable backlash from consumers over recalled products. It’s important to listen to customers’ complaints about potentially defective goods, hear out their frustration, and express empathy when a product is recalled. Part of your recall plan may include collecting an reviewing consumer feedback and offering refunds or vouchers for replacements while correcting the problem and taking action to prevent it from recurring. Handling a massive product recall can be a lengthy and chaotic process. Have a recall plan in place, monitor potential problems and customer feedback, and strive to keep the process as painless as possible. While recalls are generally an unfortunate and unfavorable event, a well-conducted recall can actually end up being a public relations win for your company, communicating to your customer base both your concern for them and your ability to address problems promptly and efficiently.

References & Resources

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