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3 must-do’s for consumer care during product recalls


Product recalls may offer a chance to prove commitment to customer satisfaction.

Product recalls may offer a chance to prove commitment to customer satisfaction.

A recall of products may seem like a worst case scenario for many companies. Having to publicly admits fault and replace or refund merchandise possesses numerous obstacles, but it may also be an opportunity to demonstrate commitment to consumer safety and happiness.

It’s easy to be kind when things are going well. Prioritizing sympathy and honesty during times of trouble, however, is much more challenging, but companies that can do it showcases their dependability. Here are three requirements for customer care centers during product recalls to show brands put consumers first:

1. Admit fault while offering solutions
Businesses can’t hope problems will just go away. Keeping recalls quiet to avoid bad public relations is almost impossible in the information age, and the My Customer blog suggested brands can gain more by being as transparent as possible.

When consumers reach out for information through the phone or online, they expect direct answers to their questions. Any sign of a business avoiding details or passing the buck could be a sign that all information given by consumer agents is suspect. The worst part is consumers who aren’t satisfied with the data provided by companies may turn to other, less direct, sources of information.

As recalls progress – especially those that affect consumer finances or health – rumors can take over if businesses aren’t willing to admit the truth. Care agents that offer immediate solutions in conjunction with explanations will usually have an easier time communicating with affected consumers.

“Customer care agents need to know exactly what went wrong.”

2. Make sure you have accurate information
Products are recalled for a variety of reasons. Sometimes merchandise doesn’t work as marketed, but other times products can be outright dangerous. This is why accurate data is crucial to recall management solutions. Besides keeping consumers safe, working with specific details helps companies limit recalls to affected products and limits losses.

Customer care agents need to know exactly what went wrong, where problematic products shipped and how the company will provide resolutions. It’s especially helpful when manufacturing plants or distribution centers use mobile devices equipped with business software to collect data as it happens. If customer relationship management systems link with industry information, care agents can see real-time data while engaging with consumers.

Recall information has to be timely, it may be necessary to address consumers before all the relevant details are available. CRM software that updates with developments are essential to give customers the most accurate information possible.

3. Be available on every relevant channel
During recalls it’s best if companies can offer toll-free numbers, chat solutions on websites and other channels for inbound customer care. The goal is to provide an avenue of communication for every platform so consumers can find answers quickly and conveniently.

One communication channel where companies sometimes drop the ball during recalls is social media. Many brands view social pages as too informal for official information. ABC News reported investigations conducted by a consumer group Kids in Danger that found less than 25 percent of businesses on Facebook use the platform to communicate recalls. This is especially problematic since social media is where rumors can spread without direct brand involvement.

Providing answers in the places consumers are most likely to search for them is one of the best ways to show brands want to help consumers through any means available. If a consumer care center is ready to receive messages through phone, text, chat and social media channels, it is ready to serve as a partner for consumers during the good times and when crisis calls for immediate information.


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