Disaster strikes and your business is in tatters. No matter who you are, what you do or where you are in the world, your company’s reputation and bottom line are vulnerable to any number of “what-if” scenarios.
There are many ways to bounce back from a crisis, but the key is to act as soon as possible. As a business owner, you will know this better than anyone.
In this article we cover the steps that will help you to regain control of the public perception of your company, so you can begin to rebuild your business.
When a crisis hits your business, it can seem like your whole world is falling apart. Feeling vulnerable and confused, many business owners feel like they have no control over the situation. The truth, however, is that how you respond in the aftermath of a crisis can have a lot to do with how well you bounce back after the storm.
As such, consider the following ways that business owners can respond to a crisis and bounce back stronger.
Internal & external communications
Internal communication is often the biggest casualty during a crisis. As the demands of an emergency exponentially increase, so do the demands on your employees. Their focus shifts from your customers to the demands of crisis management, and the ultimate result is less attention on internal communications. The result can be devastating.
On the other hand, you should also be your external communications plans. When something goes wrong at your company, do not hide from the fallout. Instead, be proactive in communicating with the public. Here is why: If you do not communicate with the public, the media will do it for you, and the result will be less favourable.
Sensationalism and the need to attract readers and viewers will distort your message. In addition, without your voice, the media or your critics will shape the story to fit their own agendas. Own the story and write your business’ own narrative.
Have a clear digital marketing strategy
Digital media presents a unique set of challenges to businesses during a crisis. The traditional communication channels of emergency alerts and press releases are not sufficient to communicate with customers, since they are not necessarily up to date and can only reach a small percentage of your customers.
Your website and social media channels, on the other hand, are a great way to keep your customers informed of your efforts to resolve the crisis and provide them with the information they need to act for themselves.
Customers expect brands to react quickly whenever they have a query, complaint, or problem. In a recent study, 73% of companies with above-average customer experience perform better financially than their competitors. If your business is not able to respond at scale on social media, or if your team is not trained to have the right tone of voice in a crisis, it could harm your reputation and ultimately your bottom line.
Digital media strategies should be developed in advance so that your message is clear and consistent during a crisis.
Focus on the customers & why it is important to do so
It is easy to focus on the big picture: how to solve the problem, how to handle the media, how to minimize the damage. However, a healthy business is all about the customer; a crisis can be an opportunity to bring your customers closer to your brand and make them feel safer, more comfortable. Of course, it requires an organisational mindset shift, and a lot of flexibility and adaptability.
In summary, here are three takeaways to remember for bounce-back success:
- Make a customer service strategy right from the start;
- Listen to your customers and treat them as people, not numbers; and
- Make sure your employees know how to handle people.
If you would like experienced business experts to help you in building your business back from a major crisis get in touch today and set up a chat, get in touch via our contact form, email us directly or call us on 0203 815 8005.