It’s all very well being told to 'keep calm and carry on' in the face of a crisis, but when it's your company involved, your team, stakeholders and customers will undoubtedly be stressed and concerned. It is likely that a plan of action will be needed immediately and a team to be sprung in to action to execute it, things will be getting tough for a while…
Did you know there are ways you can reduce the negative effect a crisis can have on your brand and company? Although we all hope that such preparation won’t be needed, should the dreaded day come, you’ll be thankful that you had the basics in place to ensure the crisis was handled in the right way and with as little brand impact as possible. The 3 steps highlighted below should be implanted as part of you crisis contingency plan. Top tip: Forward planning is key.
The communication contingency
As highlighted in our previous blog post, 7 steps of effective crisis communications, ensuring you have effective communication channels at the ready is key to running a smooth crisis management project. For your communication strategy to produce the best outcome, companies should look at mapping and planning the ways that they can respond to the situation that suits their customers. Having a tried and tested communication contingency plan not only puts company’s stakeholders’ mind at ease but will make the serious project more seamless for your customers’ experience. The last thing you want is unproven communication channels in place to connnect with your already distressed customers.
Ensuring fast global reach
In the US alone there are over 300,000 companies’ exporting goods and services across the globe, totalling over $178 billion a month (U.S. Department of Commerce). The increasingly globalised nature of business raises issues when considering to how companies contact affected customers in their local markets. You need to be able to maintain a good level of service to support your brands reputation and your legal duty to support your customers during a crisis.
Ensuring your company is set-up and using in-country call centres to contact customers in their native language tackles this issue head-on. With customers all over the world, global companies have to take language barriers and differing time zones in to account, as these factors make it difficult to make contact and communicate. Not forgetting, in the face of a crisis, effective communication is vital.
Data is power
Finally, there is one factor that is often overlooked when coordinating call centres for a crisis. In the panic of an emergency project the opportunity to collect and analyse valuable customer data is one that shouldn’t, but is often missed. Whilst collating important reports for a crisis project, such as measuring traffic to see the number of customers affected and who has responded, you could also be collecting other valuable information about your customers. The data that is collected through call centres can be fed-back through your chosen communication channels and be used to not only improve your crisis process in the future, but also for brand reputation analysis and future marketing campaigns. This can turn what is a negative company journey in to a few positives.
Marketpoint’s START package is the ideal system to set up an effective crisis process and contingency plan that is ready to go at any time. We offer the right expertise and our support will help guide you through the minefield that is a crisis and help businesses come out the other side stronger. If you’re looking for further advice on crisis communication, please get in touch with one of our specialists.