Most often we try not to plan for anything unfortunate because why even assume in the first place that it can happen? That’s the case with most business owners as well. But today one needs to understand that a crisis can come at any time. COVID-19 is an example. This is where business crisis management skills are needed.
While a crisis might introduce itself in an assortment of ways, each one of it can cause genuine monetary harm and, maybe more critically, harm to your organization’s image. In 2010, the Japanese automaker, Toyota, confronted a crisis that would blow anyone’s mind. Different notables like Johnson and Johnson, Exxon, and Pepsi likewise confronted surprising crises. When such huge brands can witness something of this sort then you should know you can too and be prepared for unforeseen circumstances if they ever hit you.
Here are 7 business crisis management tips that will ensure your smooth transition through any situation:
Have a plan
The proverb ‘prevention is better than cure’ is well known. Create an emergency board plan for your small business crisis management. This plan of action should have everything that you might need to deal with the crisis. To take care of employees, how to handle customers, how to deal with the finances, and how to convey things to your investors if any.
In any crisis, there shouldn’t be a hurry to deal with it instantly without being prepared. That is why you need a plan to foresee the dangers and effects of the crisis and then deal with it as per the needs.
The emergency supervisory crew shouldn’t simply have the option to deal with the current circumstance yet in addition survey the possible dangers and effects.
Your cautiousness in a crisis will guarantee the progression of business activities and gain the trust and certainty of customers and your teammates in your business. The ideal practice is to update and refresh your business crisis management plan every now and then to stay updated according to the market.
As a matter of fact, you should employ one person specifically for crisis management. Especially during the initial years of business establishment. Since every penny counts, make sure it is spent on a worthy resource.
Respond to customers
The more you delay your interaction with your customers the worse the circumstances will become. For instance, when the Zomato incident happened the delivery partner was being blamed and the brand’s reputation was on the line. There were several hashtags being used, the information was constantly being reshared which wasn’t really good for the brand. However, Zomato made it a point to give their statement about the same and assure their customers that their services are still trustworthy. As they responded to all the queries on time the result was as followed:
- The factual information was not compromised. False rumors that were being spread were put to a halt.
- The brand’s reputation was saved since they have out an official statement.
- The customers felt assured and it did not cause any anxiety in them which helped in saving the brand’s customer base.
- Eventually, The situation was dealt with in a calm manner without creating an environment of hostility.
In times of crisis, it is obvious that your customers will ask questions. Sometimes it can get overwhelming to deal with so many clients in one go, but then again you need to understand it is a ‘crisis situation’ and you have to put in the extra effort than your regular days.
Respond to customer queries as soon as possible. If you’ll keep them waiting it will only make them nervous and eventually result in them losing their confidence in your business.
Meet crises head-on
Although every crisis will have its own angles, there are general rules that apply to the greater part of them. Whenever a crisis is there your employees and your customers should know what is happening, why is it happening, what put you into this decision, and how will you fix the situation. Your employees have the right to know what all burdens and hardships might come their way so they can prepare themselves to endure them.
The core value to dealing with every business crisis is to come clean to all those associated with you. Clearly state the situation and try not to get ahead of yourself hu giving false information.
If your business has been hit by a crisis and due to whatever circumstances you will not be able to fulfill your commitments regarding your products and services then in this scenario, you must make it clear to convey the same to your customers.
For example, if you have to increase the price of a product or service (during a crisis) then you should straight off convey it to your customers. Tell them why it needs to be increased (tell about all the costs involved like labor, raw materials, etc.). Also, tell them about the crisis situation and why you had to take this step.
When you are 100% transparent with your customers, they will understand and will also support you throughout the journey.
Support your customers
If your business is under crisis then you must understand that it is bothersome for your customers as well. They can be furious and frustrated as well. These are normal as well as natural reactions from a customer’s end. If you will deal with them capably you’ll see that the concerns ultimately disappear and the trust is restored.
If your customers are getting affected due to the crisis your business is enduring then make sure you are being generous towards them. You can offer them reimbursements or offers if they face any issues with the products or services. Giving discounts is a way through which you will make the customer happy as well as give them a reason to buy from you again.
Take up all the necessary measures for helping and supporting your customers. At the time of crisis, your customer service team should be on its toes to assist the customer 24*7. Use the right technology like a call management system so that even in a crisis you are available to your customers.
In an uncertain situation, utilize your present resources and assets reasonably to get the best out of them. Save them and utilize them only in things where needed. Do not spend on extravaganza as it might deepen your crisis.
When big companies are in a crisis they usually have a stock of assets just to deal with the situation. But as a small business owner, it might be difficult to stock your assets just for an emergency.
For example, if anything unfortunate happens and you do not want to lose your existing clients to your competitors then you should invest your assets to n customer retention instead of the acquisition of new customers.
Take care of employees and stay calm
Your employees are the most prominent resource for your business. Along with your clients make sure you consider your employees’ situation too in times of crisis. A crisis for your business is also a crisis from them.
Empower straightforward and open discussions with your employees to showcase that you care about them. Tell them the truth about the situation and try not to conceal any information. Give your team the vital resources they need to perform well. Allocate resources as such so that the work of your employees is not affected.
Business crisis management can be smooth if you will follow all the above-given tips. Last but not the least, try to stay cool-headed and not overreact to the situation that you are facing.
Make your decisions keeping in mind what is best for your business, customers, as well as your employees. With a good business crisis management plan and enthusiasm to make your business work.
- All have a business crisis management plan.
- Focus on your customers during a crisis. Respond to their queries and support them throughout.
- Your employees are your biggest asset, be transparent with them.
- Stay calm and put your best foot forward.