Crisis management is the process by which an organization deals with a disruptive and unexpected event that threatens to harm the organization, its stakeholders, or the general public. Nowadays, it has become more significant than ever for companies. Environment has turned completely uncertain, consumers are stricter and more demanding and information spreads at an incredible pace. Being able to deal with unexpected threatening events is crucial under these conditions.
Especially when facing big crises such as the Volkswagen or Toyota case, responding diligently is essential to mitigate the harm of the consequences and restore consumers’ confidence. To do so, companies should analyze each crisis, react properly and attend those affected, and stablish a good communications strategy. The first step in problem-solving -whatever are the circumstances- is to identify and analyze the issue. A good understanding of the problem is a part of the solution.
This step involves identifying the causes, the responsible and the stakeholders affected. Depending on the nature of the crisis, it should be addressed differently. However, the main company’s objective is to restore consumers’ confidence in the end. Once the company understands the crisis and has determined a way to react, the people affected become the main priority. It is crucial to make people feel that the company takes care of them.
The company must attend to those affected in whatever way they need. Besides, it is important to show concern and knowledge of what has happened to guarantee people that the problem has been solved and it will never be repeated. Finally, while working on step two, the company should determine a communications strategy to keep the company out of the eye of Media. Public opinion is more harmful than ever due to the appearance of social media. Information spreads at an incredible pace.
The company should avoid controversy and polemic. The strategy will depend on the nature of the crisis. However, apologizing and explaining the issue are musts. To sum up, good crisis management is essential in any company because of the ever-changing environment with the ultimate objective of protecting consumers’ confidence. This process involves three steps: analyzing, acting, and communicating. All three are necessary to save the company’s reputation.