Product Defect: Quick action protects company reputation
Unhappy and vocal customer
A telecom customer who experienced a product defect criticized the manufacturer on one of the industry’s most influential message boards. The customer blamed new ownership for the faulty product and urged others to discontinue their relationship with the company. In addition, many of those responding to the customer’s posts began questioning new ownership’s leadership and technical skills.
To protect the company’s reputation, Worden PR recommended the company accept responsibility for the defect and move quickly to resolve the customer’s complaint. As a result, the head of engineering traveled to the customer location to express the company’s regrets and to learn the cause of the defect. Furthermore, the engineering executive designed replacement parts for the defective product on site and remained there to oversee installation.
Meanwhile, Worden PR drafted and issued responses on behalf of the company on the message board, accepting full responsibility for the faulty product. Subsequent posts described the steps the company took to correct the situation and invited any and all customers, past and present, to call or write with concerns.
Kudos and revenue growth
One week after his complaint was posted on the message board, the customer issued a post thanking the company for its quick response and declared the engineering fix a success. Shortly thereafter, reference to the faulty product and questions about new ownership ceased on the message board. Six months later, the company introduced a new product line that became an industry leader and generated the growth management envisioned when making the acquisition.
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