Avoiding a crisis…. Prepare your team
As the popular expression goes, “prevention is better than cure.
Your customer service team must be prepared to identify problems that can become potential crises. Potential complaints are to be expected and do not fall into this group, but bad comments or comments from influential people, for example, can cause a big headache.
Ideally, your company should have a crisis containment plan, i.e. a document drawn up together with your team containing all the procedures that should be carried out in the event of a potential crisis.
In addition, I asked for the plan to be monitored by professionals who specialize in ethical and legal issues.
It is important to keep a list of common problems and the areas of the company responsible for them accessible so that, when it comes to assistance, those in charge of support know exactly who to consult and what information will be required.
1. Track social networks
You need to always be aware of what people are saying on social networks about your brand.
This way, you will have direct feedback and you will be able to anticipate most of the customer’s statements.
For example, if a user comments that an unpleasant situation occurs or is repeated frequently during the service, solve it before it becomes a direct complaint.
Specialists say that the UN (United Nations) is able to foresee crises in countries up to three months in advance just by monitoring what their inhabitants post on social networks. Do you realize how important this is?
Consumers have their own voice and are increasingly aware of that. It’s important to check every day all the public profiles of your online store, see if there are mentions on Twitter or Instagram, “I like” on Facebook and even hashtags. The search fields are always visible for a good reason.
2. Work fast
Another important objective of the constant monitoring of social networks, which is also directly related to the previous preparation of the team, is agility.
We already know that this is a key factor in customer service in alternative channels; and in case of possible crises, even more so.
When you receive a message about a problem, check how to solve it and, if necessary, act immediately. Even if it is not something that has an instant solution, respond with kindness saying that you are working on the case and it will be resolved as quickly as possible.
Many times, in this type of situation, it is decided to answer the question later. This is not recommended because, instead of calming the client, waiting will only make him more impatient.
The brand is in crisis. And now?
3. Identify the type of crisis
The care wasn’t enough and the crisis started? To know exactly how to proceed and prevent the company’s image from getting even worse, it is necessary to know how to identify the type of crisis. Basically, there are three: rumors, complaints and challenges.
Crises caused by rumors are probably the simplest to solve. They are false statements that start circulating about your brand, many times made by dissatisfied customers or even by competitors.
Don’t hold anyone responsible: just deal with the situation and provide data or information that invalidates the rash statements.
If the crisis starts from a complaint, try to solve the problem as quickly as possible. Try to identify the origin of the matter and explain it to the client, admitting your company’s mistake and apologizing.
Set a deadline to solve it and consider offering some compensation, such as a discount coupon on the next purchase or, if the damage caused was quite big, a new product, for example.
Although not as common, the third type of crisis refers to challenges that may be proposed for your brand, such as the inclusion of an indispensable resource that your product does not yet have or a different attitude towards the environment.