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Recalls in the Digital Age: Think Global, Act Local

In the age of viral news stories and trending topics, it is more important than ever to maintain a comprehensive customer communications recall plan. During a recall, how a company executes its global and regional communications can either prolong the negative effects of a recall or serve as a potential source of positive media coverage and promote loyalty.

Recalls are costly for a number of reasons, including damage to the company’s brand. One of the first things a company can do to preserve brand perception is to notify all geographic regions, shareholders, and other affected parties of the recall – at the same time. Doing so helps protects the public, effectively resolve the recall, and avoid potential public backlash.

Companies should also reach out to customers via email, social media, mail campaigns, or other forms of communication. Studies have shown that companies who use social media to communicate with consumers about recalls can decrease negative sentiment. More and more, consumers expect this social interaction. Whether or not a company utilizes social media as a communications platform, consumers and other parties will. By leveraging social media platforms, companies distribute their message to a broader audience, influence the social conversation, provide a medium for consumers to ask questions and express concerns, and appear both transparent and accountable.

Recall communications are often perceived as being more personal if executed by local teams. They are in the right time zone, they understand their consumers best, and they can better meet the expectations of their consumer. This local connection can significantly impact a recall’s success or failure, as communications coming from executives in other regions are often met with skepticism.

When developing a communications plan, companies should factor in staffed call centers capable of handling a large volume of customer service. They should also utilize resources such as custom websites that provide customers with a convenient, one-stop way to find recall information and request a replacement for a defective product.

If an organization does not have resources to handle this on a local or global level, it’s best to work with a third party to cover the gaps.

Factoring regional and global communication processes into a recall plan will help ensure customers receive fast, efficient communications and have a positive, professional recall experience. With proper planning and outside experts to provide guidance, regional teams can do their part with minimal oversight and coordination. If executed properly, companies can mitigate unsubstantiated claims, strengthen their brand, and solidify their foothold in the marketplace.

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