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Personal touch with recalls softens the blow

Brands shouldn’t be afraid of recalling faulty or dangerous products a new survey reveals, so long as it is executed well.

A survey of 3,000 consumers commissioned by product recall specialists, Eclipse Marketing indicated that brand damage is kept to a minimum during a recall if consumers are personally contacted and consulted.

Almost three quarters of consumers (72%) would consider a repeat purchase following a recall if they had a good experience. Seventy-eight per cent of consumers said that they believed a well managed product recall would include personal correspondence such as a letter, email or telephone call.

70% of customers would choose to actively criticise a brand both online and through word of mouth, if the recall is badly executed and communicated. Moreover, 62% of consumers would black list a brand after a recall if they had experienced bad communication and customer service.

Other findings include:
By age

  • The 55+ are the most brand loyal age group with 83% saying they would consider becoming a repeat customer of a brand following a well-handled product recall
  • The under 17s were the most (54%) unlikely to reject a brand should they experience a bad level of communication and service during a product recall

By area

  • East Anglia (66%), East Midlands (65%), South West (64%) and London (64%) are the most unforgiving consumers and would boycott a brand if they experienced poor recall practice
  • Northern Ireland (78%), West Midlands (74%), London (72%) and South East (71%) are the areas most likely to proactively damage a brand by posting negative comments online or telling friends

Penny Hutton, strategy and planning director, Eclipse Marketing, said: “Our survey shows that over the last 10 years a third of consumers have been involved in a product recall, stretching from high ticket purchases such as cars through to every day products.

“It is clear that no matter what the price tag consumers expect a professional and personal experience – otherwise they will turn away from the brand in their droves – many even going out of their way to damage a brand they feel hasn’t treated them well during a recall.”

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