In recent months, we have seen some very significant examples of products failing, in some cases, rather dramatically. Often, these have been from recognised and well-known brands and manufacturers that we ought to be able to rely on.
Whether it is Samsung’s spontaneously combusting phones, or car giants Toyota’s unfolding woes, it just goes to show that not only can the issue of technology failure REALLY hit home in a big way, but that it can happen to anyone, including brand leaders.
So, a disaster can happen to anyone, and as a CEO you need to know two vital things; how to prevent this from happening to your business and your products but also, then, what to do when the worst has happened and how to deal with the situation – and fast.
So in short, that is prevention and then damage limitation. Watching some of the manufacturers attempts to deal with their problems have seemed more like a master class in how not to deal with a problem when it occurs.
So whether you own a car production plant, or a global soft drinks firm or maybe just have one factory making something innovative, the one thing you need to be assured of is the quality of your products.
Here is our two step guide to the minefield that is assessing your products reliability in the market place.
HAVE YOU GOT ALL THE RELEVANT DATA AND ARE YOU QUALIFIED TO ANALYSE IT?
Is there someone in your company who is sufficiently qualified to analyse the data on your product to be able to predict potential failure? Having the information on previous failures may not tell quite the whole story and this is why it is important to understand the whole process properly. Correct data analysis is the key here to being able to detect a problem before it becomes a catastrophe.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM YOUR PAST FAILURES?
All too often, it is far too easy for a company or business to treat failure as something embarrassing that should be quickly swept under the carpet and forgotten about as soon as possible.
Well, of course you want to RECTIFY the situation as quickly as possible for your customers, but you should not be trying to forget the experience.
Instead, you need to learn from it as much as possible in order to try and minimise any chances of this fault or problem from recurring!
If it seems that your company is constantly fielding calls from angry customers or you seem to be having a continual issue with product recall then it is time to go back to the drawing board and try to see where the problems are coming from and how to prevent them in the future.
Customers are of course not happy when a product fails on them, but the deciding issue is often the attitude and the response of the company dealing with it.
Believe it or not, a failure can be turned into a success by the correct response and level of customer service by a business. How you react to your customer’s concerns and how quickly you can repair, replace or refund will make all the difference to your reputation. And in business you are nothing without your reputation.
In other words, failure is what you make of it!