In today’s time, probably one of the biggest nightmares a business enterprise can go through is a product recall. It has an adverse impact on cost implications and reputation of a company. Often a decision of a product recall is followed by rumor mongering and confusion with rivals and public baying for your blood. The owners of Toyota would know that well. But apart from Toyota many other companies have been hit by this menace, and the number is increasing by the years.
Tough litigations and a flurry of new conventions have led to suffering for a lot of enterprises. The worst hit is the food and FMCG companies. Lots of factors such as long winded supply chains have triggered this trend. This problem has become so common that now governments have made it mandatory for a firm to have a recall plan in place. The companies also have their arrows in the quiver in form of recall teams which jump to swift action in case of a problem. But how to gain back the trust of the consumer? The answer lies with social media. Lots of companies are resorting to social media to resurrect their brand image among consumers after any kind of recall incidents.
Why social media?
Social media has emerged as one of the biggest and most potent tool for widespread communication. Many business enterprises are already using it to promote their brand and products. So if you want to use social media to ward off the doubts and fears of consumers, you will have to be ready in advance with a contingency plan. Anticipation is always better than resurrection. Companies should have a plan for the following:
- What social media platforms are to be used?
- What should be the content on these platforms and who will approve them?
- And, how will this information reach in advance to that consumer so they can be satiated a little?
Social media provides a direct outlet for the consumer to voice their concerns and have them addressed. And, they can also give invaluable feedback which may help you in whole recall process.
You got to be there until its too late
The consumer today is very proactive on the web and thus, any information is easily accessible to him/her. With regulatory departments all over the world informing them off recalls on their websites and channels, the firm has to be equally proactive in reaching out to the people. Otherwise, if the market of speculations heat up, it’s very difficult to contain the anxieties of people.
One step ahead – Give them a surprise
If companies have a contingency plan in place, they can lay their point of defense on the social media in the time of need. And, they can lead an active role by communicating and reassuring their customers before the adversaries start digging for the rot. Mind you, if you have the answer before the query is asked, your image will not be portrayed as a philanderer. And, the public will forgive you for the mistake. So giving them a surprise will make you look like you’re really concerned about them
So, the trick is to be vigilant and be communicative. If there is a product recall, of course, the consumer base is going to be irked and suspicious, but if the firms are concerned and work tactfully, then all they will suffer is only a flesh wound.
About the Author
Andrew Barnes is a retail manager and an internet entrepreneur. He has written about product recall processes in Australia and how it affects manufacturing companies and merchandisers.