Why recalls can be a good thing for dealers

Time 1:12 pm, May 24, 2013

Recall. It’s a word manufacturers loathe and one that causes panic among customers.

And it seems in these days of health and safety, manufacturers are recalling cars more frequently than ever in order to make sure their customers are safe.

This week we heard that Nissan is recalling 841,000 cars worldwide due to a potentially faulty steering wheel. The recall from the Japanese giant is one of many this year; there have been recalls from Honda, Kia, Hyundai and Mazda to name but a few.

It’s got to be said that recalls are inevitable – and they’re a sign that manufacturers are being vigilant when it comes to safety. But put yourself in the customer’s shoes and the situation is quite different.

Your customers will hear about recalls through publications such as ours. Worse, national news outlets can do little to dampen the hysteria surrounding a recall. Customers are awaiting the letter from the manufacturer and might be hearing horror stories – coverage making the situation sound worse than it is. They are naturally panicky.

It’s important in their hour of need to go above and beyond the call of duty. Instead of telling customers to wait for the letter from the manufacturer detailing the recall, invite them into your showrooms at the earliest convenience. Strangely, recalls are good things for dealers. They bring customers back into your workshops allowing you to reconnect with customers who you might otherwise have not spoken to.


So when a customer approaches you for reassurance, do not turn them away. By taking a moment to welcome them into your dealership and calmly sorting out the problem, I would wager it would do some fantastic things to your customer service scores.

Recalls can be good news – but only if you have the right attitude.

Until next week, happy dealing.

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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