No one likes to get bad news, including recalled vehicle owners. When your dealership has to inform someone of a recall, you’re likely interrupting his or her schedule with something he or she doesn’t want to hear. The solution is to turn it from a bad situation into a good one, by focusing on what you can do to fix the vehicle and make things better. The more you take control, the less the owner may be angry with you.
Recall Masters believes the key to managing customers during a recall lies in good communication. In most relationships, being honest and responsive can be important parts of solving tense situations. This could also apply to recalls, as owners may feel less upset if they know that the dealer is taking their case seriously.
A Harvard Business Review article recently looked at the ways managers may need to deliver bad news to employees. HR specialist Susan Heathfield encourages readers to prepare for the confrontation, taking as much time as they need and explaining to the other person why a decision had to happen. At the same time, it’s important to emphasize the finality of a decision and avoid arguing something that should be considered final.
“Managers have a great deal of influence on employees,” Heathfield said. “If they give them the ammunition of ‘not even my boss believes this is right’ it can spark a lot of chaos, turmoil, and unhappiness.” From there, it’s important to plan next steps and lay an outline for the future. This can come after a break, the source said. so the recipient of the news has some time to recover.
From Bad News to Good Service
Obviously, dealerships have a different relationship with their customers than companies do with employees. However, there are some interesting parallels. Just as in the above example, retail car companies can take a prepared, systematic approach to addressing issues, and leave owners with confidence instead of emptiness.
What makes this especially challenging with a recall is the long time it takes for major actions to play out. The Takata air bag recalls continue to develop steam with millions of units to be added to a recall that’s already set records. Parts take a while to ship, and in the meantime, owners might not know how safe they are if they don’t have a “loaner” or some other vehicle to use.
In a piece for the Sacramento Bee, Mark Glover suggests that the historic levels of recalled vehicles may be set to continue, after records were broken in both 2014 and 2015. The article also refers to some of the scarcity problems that come up during a recall, as dealers have to outsource repairs to other locations to ensure enough manpower and components. An analyst also quoted by the source said that the Takata recall effort might not be fully completed until years from now.
Turning the Situation Around
Recall Masters offers multiple solutions for recall needs as dealers try to act correctly. Recall Reminders can drive up response rates, using both physical and digital means to keep consumers engaged on multiple channels.
The Recall Lookup system can give dealerships instant information on whether or not a vehicle is included in a specific recall. Finally, our Recall Knowledge Base helps prioritize recalls based on various factors, making it easier to come up with an effective strategy.
All of these services give dealerships tools for responding to an open recall. When the amount of recalled vehicles is so staggeringly high, due diligence and speed will show the owner how much you care about his or her well-being. Visit our website to learn more about the different tools we can add to your recall effort.