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The Recall Solutions communication specialists of Bex*communication advise a wide range of clients on product recalls every year. Years of practical experience have resulted in the following communication tips and advice.

1. Arrange sufficient capacity

A product recall takes more time than you think and usually lasts longer than you expect. Arrange sufficient communication capacity, both internal and external. Especially with respect to monitoring, call centre and communication actions to all target groups.

2. Effective meetings

Introduce a daily recall team meeting as soon as possible. Round noon is usually the most convenient time for many people. Work with fixed agenda items and only discuss key issues in plenary meeting.

3. Provide a dashboard

It is useful to have a daily overview of the main issues like the number of callers, the number of returned products/barcodes and the number of health symptoms.

4. Special attention

Enkele groepen vragen om speciale aandacht. Denk aan mensen met gezondheidsklachten of consumenten die grote aantallen hebben gekocht. Wees eerlijk en behulpzaam en – heel belangrijk – toon empathie.

5. Business partners

A product recall means extra work for your business partners like importers, wholesalers and retailers. Make things as easy as possible for them. For example, by providing practical return forms or communication materials they can use toward the consumer.

6. Clear statement

A product recall statement often includes a lot of information. Have an outsider read it to check whether the message comes across. Show a photo or illustration of the product or packaging in your ad or press release. Emphasise that there’s nothing wrong with any other product. Don’t forget to apologise.

7. Press

Remember that once you send your ad to the newspapers, the news gets out among their editorial staff too.

8. Call centre

Make sure consumers with questions can call an information number. Provide a foolproof script with questions and answers to the call centre. Plus instructions in case of special questions or complaints, which are best handled by you personally.

9. Social media

Use social media in case of a product recall. To monitor reports and the popular sentiment. To refer to your website which contains a statement and FAQs. To provide webcare, so you can answer questions and respond to specific posts. If you have no experience in the use of social media, don’t start experimenting during a product recall.

10. Check & double-check

Check everything. Make a personal call to the call centre to ask questions, check that the product is actually removed from the shelves and make sure the returned products won’t end up in the supply chain again but are being destroyed.

11. Be lenient

Consumer products are sold at various retailers at various prices. In case of uncertainty, show leniency about exchanging products or a refund. For low-priced products it is often advisable to work with a recommended retail price, to prevent unpleasant discussions and mistakes.

12. New products

If you reintroduce your product, make sure this is clearly visible to the consumer. A newly designed packaging or a phrase like “new improved taste” usually works well.

13. Surprise your customer

Surprise your consumer. You can do so when transferring the purchase price or sending new products. But after a few weeks you could do something extra to surprise your customer, with a voucher, a new product or a small present.

Find out what Recall Solutions can do for you during, but also before and after a product recall. Go to our services.

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