Transparency Builds Trust: 3 Ways
Recently, we planned a celebratory dinner for my nieces college graduation at a “special” country inn. Unfortunately the restaurant had internal problems on that evening and our pricey experience ended up way below expectations. Reaching to the owner afterward, I was struck by the lack of response and transparency. Both types of communication are critical when a crisis of any magnitude affects an organization.
Immediate Crisis Response
A crisis is any kind of threat to one’s organization. This can include anything from a product recall, verbal mishap by the CEO or forthcoming news of employee layoffs. Putting forth an immediate response shows that your company cares. With regard to social media, it is critical to response first before there’s an explosion of negative activity you can’t control or influence. It took four calls and an email to the above noted restaurant to get any kind of response. Not only was this maddening, I now think poorly of the restaurant which I’ll avoid recommending in the future. If they had responded immediately and demonstrated their concern, it would have made an entirely different, more positive lasting impression.
Transparency Shows Integrity
Attempting to cover up or avoid responding to a crisis type of situation can be extremely detrimental. With today’s all present, 24/7 news cycle, information can leak. Not being forthright can spark questioning, uncertainty and have a negative effect on one’s reputation in the short and long term. Being as truthful, open and honest as is possible in any given situation can get your company to the other side unscathed and demonstrate organizational integrity. In this way, companies can actually leverage a crisis situation to shine the light on their caring and proactive nature, as well as the kinds of improvements or solutions to rectify a particular circumstance.
Admit Mistakes and Post Updates
Crisis communication case studies prove that owning up to a company error buys good will. As soon as possible, own up to any errors and/or explain the underlying factors of a given crisis situation. Use straightforward language and avoid being defensive. Leverage social platforms to spread the word on any positive developments as well which users will share they wish.