What Makes A Successful Product Recall?

A product recall is something which many businesses dread.For every one that goes well, there is another which goes terribly.Why is this?An effective product recall is one which possesses several attributes which are lacking in ones which aren’t so successful.Let’s take a look at them:


A product which has been found to be defective is one which should be removed from the market as quickly as possible.This will mean getting notices out into the wider world and notifying the relevant authorities with minimum delay.Since the business world has become increasingly interconnected and complicated, product recalls have had to become increasingly sophisticated in order to keep track of where everything is and where everything is going.

Of course, a speedy recall must also be a thorough one.It is no good rushing through a recall if doing so will leave many recalled products unaccounted for.This will only erode public confidence in your business.


If the public – or your shareholders – gleans the impression that you have something to hide, then the value of your business will begin to atrophy.After all, people are far more likely to avoid a brand that has been found to be dishonest.This is particularly so if the fault in question is a potentially dangerous one.

For example, if you were to find that a certain brand of poultry is having to be recalled because of contamination, then you might reconsider buying it.If it was found that the company in question had taken steps to hide this information, then your opinion of that company would probably shrink further still.

This should be reflected in a company’s field marketing.Trust is more easily maintained than it is built and customers are much more easily kept than they are won back.For this reason it is important to be up front where problems are concerned and to ensure that any affected parties are kept informed of the recall’s progress.

A product recall can be a large and potentially complex operation – and one which might involve a number of different parties along the distribution chain.These parties will all need to be cognisant of the progress of the recall; moreover, they will need to share any pertinent information which they might have.

Transparency is especially important when enlisting the aid of a specialist company offering product recall services. Hiring external agents to perform a recall is advantageous for a number of reasons – most of them included in this article – but what separates the best ones from the worst is largely transparency.As the business operator, you want to be constantly informed of the progress of the audit – as well as being kept appraised of any problems which need to be addressed along the way.


It is almost inevitable that problems will occur – if it were not so, after all, there would be no need for recalls.It is also true that problems will, on occasion, occur which will affect the recall itself.This can be through deliberate sabotage, incompetence or acts of god – but whatever the reason, it is important that whoever is performing the recall should be able to react to and have contingencies for any problems and address them accordingly.

This is where outside product recall companies are clearly better equipped to cope.They spend almost all of their working time dealing with product recalls and so have a comparatively vast past experience to draw upon.This allows them to anticipate where problems might occur and take pre-emptive action in order to stop them from doing so, but it also allows them to react better to setbacks and – perhaps most crucially – to refrain from panicking.


Issuing a product recall is not an easy thing to do.It requires an admission of fault – sometimes it even requires more than one of them.It is something which, if not handled correctly,can cause a great deal of harm to a brand.In today’s social-media-driven world, public relations problems can quickly escalate – and so they must be taken seriously by the businesses that cause them.Honest admission of fault will often go a long way.

Admitting a mistake is not an easy thing to do.In daily life, we constantly exaggerate our successes and obscure our failings and so issuing a mea culpa of the sort a product recall necessitates is something which taxes even the most honest of businesspeople.“This is what we have done wrong, this is what we are going to do to put it right,” is a sentiment which will go a long way toward repairing any damage a company’s reputation might have incurred as a result of having to recall a product.