This post is an excerpt from an article written by Written by Swetha Amaresan, and is a wonderful resource for CCP downloadable templates located on the Hubspot blog HERE.
Crisis Communication Strategies
1. Spokesperson Response
When your company makes a mistake, the best thing you can do is to apologize and make it appear human. The most effective way to do that is to assign a spokesperson to speak on your brand's behalf. After all, it's a lot easier to relate to one person than a group of lawyers.
This person could be your CEO, a company executive, or someone you feel is best suited to represent your company. It's important to choose a good communicator as their actions will influence how your key stakeholders will react to the situation. If they can make your company look human and your mistakes appear manageable, that will play a major role in maintaining the stakeholder support.
2. Proactive Damage Control
No matter if things are going well now, you should always prepare for a crisis to occur. Don't worry, this doesn't make you a pessimist. Instead, it makes you proactive.
Proactive damage control is what you do to reduce or prevent the effects of a crisis before it occurs. For example, adding security software that records and backs up company data will help you avoid a malware crisis. Additionally, you can train your employees to watch out for suspicious or harmful emails that might reach their inbox.
At HubSpot, our security team sends out routine training videos to educate employees about different security protocols. The videos are short and the multiple-choice quizzes are so light-hearted that they act as additional learning tools in case you didn't pay close attention to the video. This makes the training easily consumed, and, more importantly, successful in teaching employees how to protect company data.
3. Case Escalation
Sometimes crises can be resolved on the individual level before they reach a viral tipping point. For these cases, it helps to create an escalation system within your customer service team that can diffuse the issue before it gets out of hand.
At HubSpot, we have specialists who work on complex or time-sensitive cases. When customers have needs that require additional attention, our experts intervene to assist. This helps the service rep manage a tricky situation and ensures a more delightful experience for our customers.
4. Social Media Response
Social media is a wonderful marketing tool that allows companies to reach audiences across the globe. But, this reach works both ways, as customers can share stories, post pictures, and upload videos for the world to see. One viral video painting your company in the wrong light can lead to millions of people developing a negative perception of your brand.
Crises are battled both in-person and online. So, your company needs a social media plan that can manage the digital buzz around your business. This may include assigning more reps to monitor your social channels or updating followers with new information. But, regardless of how you use it, social media can't be ignored when your company is working through a crisis.
5. Customer Feedback Collection and Analysis
Sometimes you may have a crisis occurring, but it isn't on the front page of the news or going viral on social media. Instead, it's silently affecting your customers and causing churn, but you're unaware of it because you're not gathering enough feedback from your customers.
Gathering feedback is an excellent way to prevent a crisis. That's because it provides insight into how customers are feeling about your business. This allows you to spot major roadblocks before they escalate into a crisis. And, it gives customers an opportunity to share negative criticism that you can use to improve other customers' experiences.
When faced with an unhappy or escalated customer, our success team recognizes this as a chance to collect customer feedback. They begin interactions by asking customers to review their experience and discuss any elements that were unsatisfactory. This helps our team create actionable steps that they can use to align themselves with the customer's needs.
...More strategies and actual templates for 6 different types of Crisis Communication Plans HERE.