A quick guide to crisis management
All businesses make a mistake at some point; it’s simply the nature of the beast. A crisis is defined as a moment when a company creates a situation that poses a threat to themselves, consumers or other stakeholders. No matter how or why the mistake was made, there is one key factor to remember: The action can’t be reversed. While it is impossible for companies to turn back time, there are several things they can do to lessen the damage and make amends to those who have been inconvenienced or wronged. Here are a few crisis management tips to help make the best out of an unexpected situation and keep your company’s reputation in good standing.
Accept your mistakes. Accidents happen, but the worst way to remedy them is by pushing the blame elsewhere.
State the Facts
The first action to take in the event of a crisis is to inform the public. If a mistake has already been made apparent to the outside world, don’t delay communications or clarity to the audience. Be concise in stating to the public exactly what happened. Accountability will help bring closure to those who have been affected by the situation as well as make you a reliable source of information for consumers, stakeholders and media outlets. If you try to cover up the crisis, the public could form a negative opinion of your company, branding you as unreliable, shady or untruthful.
Accept your mistakes. Accidents happen, but the worst way to remedy them is by pushing the blame elsewhere. If your company has caused some kind of injustice, inconvenience or issue for others, it’s best to own up to it. By accepting the responsibility for your company’s actions, you are taking the first steps to restoring your relationship with the public. Let people know that your company was at fault and is doing everything possible to compensate for any damages or suffering it caused.
While saving your company’s reputation may be the first thing on your mind, remember there wouldn’t be a crisis to begin with if people had not suffered or been inconvenienced by your business. Express sympathy to those involved. Issue apologies to the public and directly to those who have been affected. By showing concern and taking action, you are visibly making amends for any wrongdoing and proactively preventing a similar situation from occurring in the future.
Give It Some Time
“AS LONG AS YOU ARE ACCOUNTABLE FOR YOUR COMPANY’S ACTIONS, TRANSPARENT TO THE PUBLIC IN HOW YOU ARE DEALING WITH THE CRISIS AND TAKING ALL NECESSARY STEPS TO FIX IT, YOUR COMPANY’S REPUTATION WILL BE RESTORED.”
Time heals all wounds, and company blunders are no different. While you may be doing everything possible to remedy the situation, it could still take time for your company to move out of the (negative) spotlight. As long as you are accountable for your company’s actions, transparent to the public in how you are dealing with the crisis and taking all necessary steps to fix it, your company’s reputation will be restored. Keep your head up! Your company and its good name will be associated once more with what makes it so unique and special.