A few weeks ago, Ikea issued a recall on 442,000 nightlights in both Canada and the United States. And while a product defect is often times a company’s worst nightmare, mistakes do happen.
Specifically, the complaint came from Europe; a child in Austria received an electric shock and minor wounds after a PATRULL nightlight’s plastic cover detached while the child was trying to take the light out of its socket.
Ikea has sold more than 83,000 units of this product in Canada and 359,000 in the United States since it first became available in 2013. However, Health Canada reported that it has not received any complaints regarding the nightlight.
As stated, recalls, though undesirable, happen. Therefore, to assist businesses deal with this type of bad publicity, we’ve put together a few tips to get ahead of the issue—if or when it occurs.
Make a public announcement
As soon as you become aware of the fact that a product is a threat to public safety, you should make an announcement. Don’t simply confirm that there’s an issue, but admit that something is wrong. The sooner you do this, the better.
If the damage is already done, then take responsibility for what’s happened. If you want to minimize public backlash as much as possible, then be proactive and transparent. Honesty really can promote forgiveness amongst customers.
Educate your employees
Be honest with your employees; each worker needs to fully understand exactly what is happening. One of the worst things you can do is to try and control damage by restricting the flow of information internally. Specifically, each member of the team needs to know how to represent the situation accurately and appropriately to anyone who may ask.
Don’t wait to act
If you’re planning on waiting for bureaucratic government agencies to get involved—don’t. During this process, regulatory agencies can often delay how much time passes before product consumers and distributors are notified. These delays can lead to worst-case scenarios, like more injuries or even death.
Above all else, remember one thing: the safety of your customers should be your number one priority.
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