When the video of an exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7 went viral, it was first had to believe. The incident was simply too horrible to imagine happening under the nose of one of the biggest phone manufacturers. It got global attention like wildfire becoming not only every company’s worst nightmare but also every consumer’s concern. Unsurprisingly, Samsung had an unprecedented loss of at least $5.3 billion for recalling all Note 7 units.
With this in mind, is your company ready for crisis management? Do you have a designated team to handle it and a protocol to follow? There is a lot to think about when a crisis happens. Here are some fundamental steps to guide you when faced with one.
1. Recognize a budding issue before it gets media attention.
It is wise to be prepared once a crisis occurs, but better if you can prevent it from actually happening. Knowing your regular brand health and setting a baseline will help you identify arising issues before it gets more attention. Set up alerts whenever there are emerging and damaging trends. Having a good social listening and monitoring tool is remarkably critical when doing community management and crisis communications.
2. Assess the situation and evaluate what to do.
If you have detected an increasing pattern of negative sentiment, assess how you should deal with it. Should you release an official statement or keep silent for now? Is this an internal concern or should you instantly reach out to the complainant? Is it a good time to ask your influencers to voice out their support, or should the CEO speak up? Figure out the intensity of the crisis and be ready to deal with it. Note that each minute counts but delayed communication might be better than risking your brand reputation with an uncertain and vague response.
3. Respond and align with the team.
Once you have a complete grasp of the current situation, implement your crisis communication plans and always be on the lookout. It is crucial to align your external communications with your internal affairs– giving a clear outline of the communications strategy including templated answers, tone of voice, and their specific roles. Likewise, explore the possibility of turning this bad publicity into a good one. Check out how some companies pleased their initially utterly disappointed customers here. Most importantly, be the brand who talks with a heart. Customers can smell sarcasm from sincerity. Be the favored one.
The bigger the company gets, the more prepared you have to be in case a crisis occurs. Remember, a red alert isn’t the time to plan. And as the wise Benjamin Franklin said, “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
If you are looking for a useful social listening and monitoring tool, check out Tracx.
Social Media Monitoring for Brand Reputation. (2015, December 12) Retrieved from https://www.tracx.com/resources/blog/social-media-monitoring-for-brand-reputation/
Mindruta, R. (2015, March 30) Marketing: Using Crisis Management to Your Advantage. Retrieved from https://www.brandwatch.com/blog/marketing-using-crisis-management-to-your-advantage/
Higashi, M. (2016, November 25) Crisis Management & Response – Social Media Analytics Guide (Part 6) Retrieved from https://www.netbase.com/blog/crisis-management-response-sma-guide-part-6/
How to Manage customer satisfaction in Crisis. Retrieved from https://relate.zendesk.com/education/how-to-manage-customer-satisfaction-crisis/
Young, A. ( 2017, January 24) Samsung could have handled the Galaxy Note 7 Fiasco better, crisis managers say Retrieved from http://www.salon.com/2017/01/24/samsung-could-have-handled-the-galaxy-note-7-fiasco-better-crisis-managers-say/