VP Business Development EMEAA Stericylce ExpertSOLUTIONS
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Effects of multiple recall providers on the customer experience (Part One)

25th Jul 2016
VP Business Development EMEAA Stericylce ExpertSOLUTIONS
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We recently carried out an experiment to better understand the pitfalls of a mismanaged recall event and the impact on brand loyalty. We contracted an independent third party to experience a large scale kitchen appliance recall from a customer’s perspective. The recall was managed by another industry provider and stemmed from reports that the appliance had the potential to burn customers if they stood too close to the product while it was in use. The customer experience in this situation demonstrated just how quickly an improperly managed recall could damage a brand.

 

The customer began calling the recall hotline just one day after the company issued a press release about the recall, to check if his model was affected. The customer called the recall hotline 12 times before reaching an agent.

 

On the twelfth attempt, the customer finally spoke to a representative, but the agent wasn’t knowledgeable about the actual problem or how to fix it. When asked for advice on what to do until a promised repair kit arrived six weeks later, the agent simply told him to stay an arm’s length away from the appliance while it was in use. Additionally, the agent directed the customer to a website for more information on the recall, but when the customer spelled the website incorrectly back to the agent, he was not corrected. “He just wanted to get me off the call,” the customer said.

 

Later the same day, the customer called the recall hotline again to ask follow-up questions, but after trying 10 times in a 3 hour span and getting an engaged signal each time, he gave up.

 

It took 17 days for the company to improve their call centre recall response, but even as the agents improved, the repair kit did not arrive within six weeks and no communication was provided about the delay. It finally arrived over ten weeks later. The customer said the entire experience left him increasingly frustrated, unsatisfied with the company’s response and broken promises, and ultimately disappointed with their brand.

 

Problems like those experienced by the customer often occur when multiple vendors are chosen to manage and support key components of a recall execution, leading to a lack of efficiency and effectiveness.  To understand how damaging this can be for your company, put yourself in the place of your customer. In my next blog I will talk about the impact of this, and how it can be handled better.

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