In the first blog of this product failure series, I discussed product failure at launch. In the second blog, I discussed product failure at development. In this third blog, I will dive into product failure post launch.
A company must stand by the product it has developed and launched. Supporting the product is one of the most basic customer expectations. The more complex the product, the higher the level of competency the customer will expect from the company. The organization must be knowledgeable, skilled at selling, and skilled at effectively supporting the product. Competency limitations can be detrimental to the product and to the company brand. Inability to produce effective and quick customer service will produce highly-dissatisfied consumers.
The lack of resources and internal support will be highly detrimental to your internet resources as well. Being unable to deliver on a solution will burden the company’s top resources. These dedicated ruthless heroes will likely try to step-up and take on troubleshooting and delivering the solution. The lack of efficiency within the process will hinder their efforts and effectiveness, weighting these dedicated employees down.
Unfortunately with every product, quality issues will arise after the product has been launched. The product team is likely to have done their due-diligence in selecting quality materials, testing, troubleshooting, and debugging the product; however, in many situations once the product is out in the market the consumers will use it in one way or another that will uncover product deficiencies and quality issues. This is the time to step-up as the product owner and use these opportunities to optimize, debug, or even re-call your product. If the issues encountered pose a safety or health concern the sooner you take action the better. Making the decision of recalling products might be the best decision you can make to protect the user.
A good example of products that should have been removed (banned) from the market early on are compounds containing asbestos or asbestiform tremolitic talc. In April 1977, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced banning the use of asbestor in certain consumer products; however, the wide use of these products was already in place including insulation, brakes, flooring, and other construction products. As asbestos breaks up, it creates dust particles (fibers) that can be inhaled. The inhaled fibers settle into the lungs or in the stomach causing irritation and leading to mesothelioma, an aggressive and deadly cancer. Diagnosed in 3,000 new patients each year, mesothelioma has a poor prognosis with only 33% of patients living longer than one year.
In 1972, congress issued the Customer Product Safety Act and created the US CPSC, an independent federal agency that develops voluntary standards for thousands of various customer products, and enforces these standards by banning products with inadequate safety standards.
The Food and Drug Administration FDA is responsible for the safety and security of food supply. The FDA also protects the public health by assuring safety and effectiveness of medical devices. The FDA recalls defective or potentially harmful food, drugs, cosmetics, and products that give off radiation. The recalled product might be at a recondition-able state; however, products that are high in the hazard ranking i.e. classified as class I are unlikely to recover with reconditioning. Class I recalls are classified as dangerous or deficient products that could cause serious health problems or death. Rebounding from a product recall depends on the strength of the brand and the how proactive the company handles the issue. Based on Nielsen’s 2016 Annual Reputation Quotient report, both Johnson & Johnson and Kraft were able to recover from product recalls and climb into the top 10 highest ranking corporations.
Do you have a recall story?
Mayo Clinic – https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mesothelioma/symptoms-causes/syc-20375022
Mesothelioma + Asbestos Awareness Center – https://www.maacenter.org/mesothelioma/prognosis/
Consumer Product Safety Act – https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/pdfs/blk_media_cpsa.pdf?epslanguage=en
Food and Drug Administration – https://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/Transparency/Basics/ucm194879.htm