Whenever there’s a recall, your natural response is to think, “Oh no! Does this affect me?”
If you’re an ice cream lover, Blue Bell made your stomach churn. If you’re a Volkswagen owner, you screeched to a halt recently. Skippy, on the other hand, handled things more smoothly.1
As a company, here are the top three things you should consider when facing a recall.
When health and safety is in question, demonstrate that the public’s welfare is your top priority.
By voluntarily recalling some peanut butter, Skippy’s parent company, Hormel, did just that, “This recall is being initiated out of an abundance of caution.”
That’s the optic you want to create: That you’re going the extra mile to protect the consumer. Remember J&J’s recall of Tylenol in the ‘80s? Blue Bell did the polar opposite by denying it right up until they were forced to recall products.
Inform Your Customers
Whenever product contamination occurs, the pubic has the same questions:
“Do I have something in my house that could cause me to get sick? How can I tell if what I bought was affected? What do I do if I did in fact buy something that’s been recalled?”
When there’s an information void, rumors and speculation fly. Keep your customers informed. This alleviates their fears and buys you goodwill.
Whole Foods does an excellent job of this by having a product recall area on their site dedicated to keeping the public informed.
This is a given that transcends all industries and all issues: Don’t lie because the truth will come out eventually.
Blue Bell made the situation worse because it reportedly knew it had a listeria problem two years prior to the recall, but failed to take the proper steps with the FDA to rectify it.
1. Your audible groans are totally justified. I couldn’t resist.
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