Even the big players don’t always get the product right.
It’s happened to Samsung. It’s happened to Coca-Cola Amatil (see article below). It has happened with most major retail players in the world. If you occupy a service or retail space then it will probably happen to you; it might also happen a few times.
Things go wrong for a whole bucket load of reasons. Sometimes it is process related or it could be training related. These are relatively easy to fix because you have some in-house control. It might also be related to a third party service or product supplier – these you have a little bit less control over.
At the extreme you might kill a bunch of people. If this happens then invest in a good lawyer and get used to prison greens. (There are probably a bunch of people sweating on the tailings dam rupture case); at the other end of the scale, you might only inconvenience an individual. Either way, even if you have taken all reasonable steps to avoid the circumstances leading up to the incident, how you manage the fall-out will determine the relative impact to your brand and reputation. One thing is certain, you will be disappointed if you think the problem will go away by doing nothing.
Action to take when something is not quite right. If an incident relates to you, regardless if it is your fault or not, then you must take ownership. Consumers just don’t accept that you can blame someone else; they don’t care that the issue relates to items outside of your control. They have been adversely affected by a transaction between you and them and they want to know what YOU are going to do about it.
Fortunately, you have many options to choose from – and they may all be right. You will be assessed on the actions you take and the resultant impact to the end user. If something is wrong, then from a consumer’s point of view, you need to make it right. There are actions that you can take and there are also actions that you are legally obliged to take. If you decide to do the absolute minimum, then don’t expect resounding praise and applause from your clients or from the people that they recount the story to.
If you sell new cars and there is a product recall that might take 2 days to correct, then you are legally obliged to correct the fault. How about if you organized a loan vehicle for the duration of the repairs, of if you supplied UBER vouchers so that your customers can still get to and from work. Would this be seen as going the extra mile?
I’d bet my left nut that the initial customer inconvenience will quickly be forgotten and that, at the very least, you will get a second bite at their next new car purchase. You may also get peripheral sales as the word is spread either via personal or social media contacts.
Brand reputation. The process of increasing sales, disseminating your story, the quality of your goods and/or service, the staff training methodologies that you employ and the processes that you implement are all designed to increase your brand’s reputation. Your business success is then directly related to your brand.
I cannot recall a brand that was despised or arrogant or generally consistently produced rubbish that is successful. You need to protect your brand and by taking proactive action when it appears that you have tripped needs to be taken before it before this becomes a marketing nightmare and reputations are eroded or destroyed.
The following article appeared in Marketing Magazine
Rekorderlig cocktail brand extension canned BY BEN ICE ON 21 OCTOBER 2016 Rekorderlig cocktail cans are being voluntarily withdrawn from shelves after an issue that compromises product quality was identified.
Cider brand Rekorderlig’s latest product, a range of cocktails in a can it released last month, has been voluntarily withdrawn from sale.
A small manufacturing defect in the cans supplied for the Rekorderlig Cider Cocktail range has resulted in ‘off-flavours’ being detected in some drinks.
A release from Coca-Cola Amatil makes it clear the defect poses no health risk, the withdrawal is temporary, and the decision was made to ‘put quality first’.
Retailers have been asked to withdraw cans from shelves and await replacement stock. No other Rekorderlig products have been affected.
“Rekorderlig has a reputation for quality and consumer experience, it is therefore of paramount importance to us that whilst this poses no health risk to consumers, we have made the decision to temporarily withdraw Rekorderlig Cocktail Cans from sale,” said Henrik Dunge, CEO of brand owner AB Åbro Bryggeri.