Every company should have a plan for dealing with a crisis, whether it be an actual disaster or a public relations nightmare. Small businesses and startups need to include this action plan in their everyday planning. Their reputations often depend on customer feedback and they need to anticipate what could cause them problems to come up with solutions before things get out of hand.
What is Crisis Management?
Crisis management is the art of making a bad situation better. It often involves spinning an adverse event into a positive one. There are three essential parts to crisis management: preparation, identification, and action.
Establishing a Good Plan
A crisis plan must be well thought out and anticipate any possible disastrous events. Your staff needs to understand what the plan entails and should rehearse the scenarios it includes. For example, if you get a complaint about your product on social media, you need to be prepared with a response in less than an hour so as not to lose any customers.
Methods to Identify a Crisis Before They Happen
Monitor the Media
It is not a good idea to keep track of the media daily. Many companies get so swept up in making the next big thing that they never check out their company’s image. You need to have at least one person scouting for any lousy press to have time to make corrections before it is too late.
Do Your Research
If you want to make sure that the news isn’t going to be too bad, it is essential to keep an eye on the media and what the customers are saying about your company. You should frequently ask them for feedback and address their concerns as soon as possible.
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Communicate is the Key
When your customers have a concern, you have to make sure they feel heard and understood. Preventing the loss of any customers is vital if you want to maintain a healthy business model. Without customers, you might as well close up shop.
Types of Crises
There are five general categories of crises:
It is the most common type of crisis and it happens when you have to deal with an unexpected event or issue. Things can range from missing a payment to an impending lawsuit to the threat of losing all your customers. It would help if you tried to prepare for any eventuality by coming up with a plan and sticking with it.
Occur as a result of a sudden, unexpected event or situation. Examples include news reporting about an incident from the past that suddenly comes back to haunt you.
When something happens so quickly, you have no time to make any changes. Examples include the IRS decides to audit your company or your accountant suddenly filing bankruptcy papers against you.
It is like a flash crisis that won’t go away and you are forced to deal with it. For example, you get a lot of bad reviews online, or your company gets sued.
Crisis of the Culture
It is a problem that tends to occur when many people work in a small organization. It could be anything from issues with finances to the inability to collaborate effectively with others.
NetQuid’s Own Crisis Management Solutions
The NetQuid program makes sure that your business receives the attention it requires from a digital marketing standpoint. Having a web presence is essential to success and we are here to make sure that you have the support you need to succeed.
Crisis management is not something you want to think about all the time, but it can happen at any moment and you must be prepared. Remember, prevention is the best medicine, in this case, so make sure that you have a solid plan in place before anything happens. Once you have your plan ready, make sure everyone understands their role and knows how to react if anything goes wrong.