Brand crises, product recalls anger consumers—so get prepared

by | Jul 3, 2017 | Crisis Communications, Public Relations

A product recall can cost a company millions of dollars, not including lost sales and damage to brand reputation. A new survey from Marketpoint Recall, conducted by Harris Poll among 2,081 U.S. adults aged 18 and older, examines Americans’ views on company crises and product recalls.

Don’t think consumers consider these situations as just part of doing business—the study found that 85 percent of Americans actually get angry when a company has a crisis or issues a product recall.

How a company handles a crisis or recall can also impact public opinion extensively

The study revealed that in the event of a crisis or recall, over 3 in 5 Americans say a slow response time from a company to correct the recall or a refusal to acknowledge that there is a crisis would make them angry (63 percent for both). Additionally, 60 percent of Americans said a lack of communication from the company to consumers would make them angry.

“When a company isn’t prepared for a recall or crisis scenario, it escalates the problem tenfold, not only harming the brand’s image, but negatively impacting customer loyalty,” said Peter Gillett, managing director of Marketpoint Recall, in a news release. “Our survey revealed that if a company takes too long to address an issue, or doesn’t have the proper tools to communicate with customers around the globe, it risks damage beyond repair. In order to calm and reassure customers, quick and clear communication is essential.”

Brand crises, product recalls anger consumers—so get prepared

Americans also cited the following issues involving a crisis or product recall that would make them angry:

  • Language barrier between the company and consumers (i.e. company correspondents/call centers don’t speak English) (32 percent)
  • Infrequent status updates on the recall (30 percent)
  • Company’s lack of activity on social media (11 percent)

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Marketpoint Recall from June 16-20, 2017 among 2,081 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter


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