Seven ways to take back control: Managing an active crisis

We are living through an unprecedented situation for organisations and the people who work for them.

Crisis situations are mentally, physically and emotionally draining for everyone – especially those on the customer service frontline.  

Based on our experience helping organisations prepare for a crisis, here are seven ways for organisations to take back control:

  1. Take some time now to identify the risks that this global pandemic poses to your business. What could go wrong? What can you do to prepare for this now?
  2. If you don’t have this structure already, use a hub and spoke model to manage your social media teams and distribute cohesive messaging. One way to keep customers calm during a crisis is to show them that the brand isn’t panicking, that you have a plan in place. (You can find more about this structure in our free guide – simplifying social media for global brands.)
  3. Review your escalation process and communicate it to your teams. Do they know who to contact for urgent customer issues if their usual contact is out sick?
  4. Review your approach to social media. Social media is the place where brands need to be more human – that’s especially important during a crisis (and even more so during the intense one we’re experiencing at the moment).
  5. Remind employees about their role in the crisis plan. Your whole team may be experiencing the same anxiety and concerns as customers. Clear and regular communication is vital. 
  6. Listen to your social media team. The social media team will often see the first signs of a crisis developing or customer sentiment changing. They need to communicate what they are seeing and give the company an early warning of potential issues.
  7. Support your teams. It’s a very tense situation. People contacting the brand will likely be emotional. The teams responding to them will need to work in shifts, and also be supported by the company when it comes to their own feelings.

It’s a rapidly evolving situation, and it can feel like it’s out of your control. You can’t control how governments respond, or force customers to act in certain ways, but you can control your response to the situation.

We have a free guide on working through a crisis, available in our whitepaper section.

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