Crisis is a broad term that means many things to many different people. Whether building a business or managing a mega-corporation, a crisis in the world of business can mean the difference between success and failure. Part of managing a crisis when it occurs (yes, that’s “when” not “if”) is being prepared. By showing customers that you are ready for the worst, and their best interest is still at the center of your thoughts then you have a customer for life. Below are some simple tips for being sure that your next crisis remains under control.
Plan: Whether it means building an FAQ so customers can look to a pre-established list of answers, or briefing your employees on what they should say in light of your issue, putting a plan in place can never hurt when facing a crisis. Like practicing your Fire Drills in school, having a set path to take when there’s trouble lessens the possibility of panic when you need cooler heads to prevail.
Observe: This step does not mean for you to set-up intricate security systems and listening stations, but rather to observe your customers and their behaviors. Though this does little to help you respond in the event of a business issue, it does make for excellent PR with your customers. By illustrating that you care, a business can get ahead of the curve when planning for customer issues, and react for it snowballs into a full-blown crisis.
Act: Few trust a brand that hides behind their corporate logo. In a time of unprecedented connection, we are closer to our favorite companies than ever, and people have shown that they need to see a human element present in their companies. After observing what your customers need, respond. Showing transparency in your actions will only serve to bring your customers closer to you.