Last year, Samsung Mobile hit a huge snag as a company when their latest premium offering – the Galaxy Note 7, began exploding and causing pandemonium amongst its many users. The Note 7 was revered as both the best phone of 2016, and the best smartphone ever made as at then, but that was until the fireworks began. It’s been a year since the sordid incident, most smartphone users have forgotten all about the Note 7 episode, and Samsung, who may have lost over $6.7 billion, have put the tragic past in its place.
Samsung may not have handled the situation like pros for so many reasons, but, the launch of the Galaxy S8 and the S8+ was the best way to truly put the Note 7 to rest, as the S8 definitely won back a huge chunk, if not all of the disappointed Samsung users.
So here are few lessons to pick out from the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 saga.
Don’t get too carried away in the competition
Samsung has always been in the race against Apple as the premium smartphone maker, and in a bid to beat deadlines to launch the Note 7 before the iPhone 7, they made some design flaws that led to the battery explosions.
Getting obsessed with competing can lead to setting impossible deadlines and standards, and hence ignoring the little details and making costly mistakes that may cost your business a whole bunch.
Brand image is easier lost than made
In essence, it’s easier to lose customers than to make new ones or keep the ones you have, especially when you’re neck to neck with the competition. It may have taken Samsung over 20 years to gain the reputation and brand loyalty they enjoy from their customers, but one tragic event nearly wrecked 20 years of effort.
Customers are hard to win and easy to lose.
The first rule of crisis management is to communicate openly and transparently. This is even more important in the tech world, where bad news becomes viral very quickly. The only way to counteract the spread of bad rumor is to release an official statement early enough.
If your business runs into a snag with a product, the first thing to do is to acknowledge customer’s complaints and begin working on a solution. Keeping silent about an escalating problem will leave the customers with no choice than to dump your product and fraternize with the competition.
Don’t offer a fix that doesn’t work
If you’re going to offer a fix for a faulty product, make sure it’s working well. After Samsung rolled out replacement units for the Note 7, users reported that the new units were still exploding. Even the loyal customers would have started giving up at that point.
It’s good to act fast, but it’s even better to act carefully.
Testing Testing Testing
Testing a new product may be boring and laborious, especially when you are trying to beat a deadline, but the downsides are, well, you know the rest of the story. I wouldn’t say Samsung didn’t test the Note 7 units very well before sending them to the market, but it appears so. At least one of the units should have exploded in the testing phase to hint that there’s a fault somewhere.
You can test your new product with a small group of users before releasing to the public just to be sure there are no lurking issues.
Have a huge comeback
Nothing says “I’m in charge of my game” better than a good comeback. With the Galaxy S8, S8+ and the Note 8, Samsung put to rest all doubts about the company’s proficiency. According to a report by Strategy Analytics, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is the top-selling Android smartphone in Q2 2017.
Way to go Sammy!
Even if you get it wrong in handling crisis, always show your customers you’ve got their back by giving them a product that will transform the way they live.