Any company is safe from a brand reputation crisis: in every moment, a little production mistake, a misunderstood communication or an unsatisfied client could be cause of a corporative problem. This is something that companies already know and users “tolerate” according to how properly the brand answers.
This is the reason why it is important to avoid crisis, but it is essential the way we manage it and, especially, how is the very first answer of the company. In other words, how they connect with users and how they present solutions to the brand reputation.
Customers know that in this universe 2.0, brand’s value is not only what they do, but also how do they react and listen. Which mistakes should we avoid in order not to worsen a reputation crisis?
5 main mistakes during a Brand Reputation crisis
Not acting on time:
Reputation crisis are like a paint spill: if you clean it quickly, you just have to clean the dirty places and tidy the room. But if you don’t clean it in this moment, you don’t notice the spill, or you ignore it and you think other person will clean it, you could find all the pain spread, dried and messy… in other words, everything got worse than it was supposed.
That is why we should have a predesigned action plan (standard solutions, counting with a team able to solve reputation crisis, determine who is in charge of each action…), and we should also be able to quickly execute it.
Don’t provide any kind of explanations:
When we don’t provide answers, we are confirming we have a problem and we are not able to solve it or, even worse, we did something wrong and there is not a good explanation for it.
When a reputation crisis occurs, the public (both affected and “curious” ones) wants a convincing explanation from companies involved in the crisis. In these moments, corporative accounts, the website and people from the company are the main target. This way, we can’t wait the storm to disappear. If we don’t provide proper explanations, others will do it…
Don’t take care of our messages:
Don’t providing explanations is a mistake, but it doesn’t mean that providing them is the only thing we should do. We insist in this point: the bigger the reputation crisis gets, eyes are more and more focused on our communication channels. This is why every message should be agreed, relevant, part of a detailed action plan and, of course, free of lies and excuses that may intensify the situation.
If we don’t have the required information to understand the mistake when the crisis explodes, the correct message to spread is that we are working to provide efficient solutions. In this situation, comments such as “In Reputation Crisis we are investigating reasons that lead us to the current situation in order to be able to provide proper explanations. As soon as we can clarify the facts, we will communicate you. Thank you”, provide a transparent image about the management of the situation.
Don’t acknowledge mistakes:
To err is human, and public understand that an organization makes mistakes sometimes.
On the other hand, public don’t tolerate arrogance: denying the obvious or blame third-parties for a situation is typical of haughty ones, and this is an awful quality for a brand. This way, if we are blamed for a mistake (directly or indirectly), we should wear customer’s shoes and meet they need of information: we could provide some data to refute it, or reasons that explain why this mistake occurred together with alternatives to avoid it happen again.
Don’t focus just on your organization
Brand Reputation crisis do not only affect public opinion, but also workers, the organization, stakeholders, providers… they are also splashed by reputation problems.
Those ones are ambassadors of your brand: they recommend you to friends and family, they talk about good environment working situations. If they don’t know what we are doing to solve a difficult situation, none of our company messages will have credibility enough to solve the situation.
Taking all this into account, we can say that both what we do and what we don’t do are key factors during reputation crisis. Free yourself from critical looks and take the confidence of your audience back with Reputation Crisis.