This book: A Handle on the “Crisis” ushers in a fresh new wave of thinking that leads the way to the creation of a much needed Cohesive Planetary Civilization. Handle a crisis definition: A crisis is a situation in which something or someone is affected by one or more very | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and.
Executives who blame external, uncontrollable causes for problems may seem less trustworthy. If an executive takes responsibility for negative outcomes, says Tiedens, "the reader thinks, 'Oh, this company knows what it's doing, they're in control of it, they can change it. Conversely, owning up to poor performance or a specific shortcoming instilled the sense that the company had a tight grip on the reins and were more likely to rebound from the situation since they had already identified the problem and accepted responsibility. Recently, our friends at Buffer experienced what was undoubtedly one of the scariest moments at the company since its inception.
How they handled this crisis, however, serves as an excellent case study for the research above, and makes a strong case for the positive impact of transparency.
On October 28th, the app suffered a security breach that resulted in thousands of accounts posting spam messages to Facebook. The stage was set for a monumental meltdown, but the way their team handled the situation was so exceptional that a majority of their users responded with well wishes and sincere thanks for the honesty and professionalism:.
During freak accidents or problems caused by outsiders such as in this situation , some companies look for a way to shield themselves from customer frustration. Buffer eschewed the blame game and simply owned up to the problem directly. Instead, they immediately took to every communication channel they had, apologized for the inconvenience, and explained what was to be done as soon as they got a handle on the situation. Hi all. So sorry, it looks like we've been compromised. Temporarily pausing all posts as we investigate. We'll update ASAP.
Being in the dark about a situation like this is perhaps the most frustrating part for customers, and these updates went a long way in eliminating that problem. Just as important, putting the situation and current status out there for all to see served as proof positive that the team was taking control of the situation. We know from the study above that this should be to the advantage of the company in question, and given the ample coverage they received for this action Perhaps the most interesting part of this case study is how Buffer utilized the practice of Whole Company Support to deal with the influx of communication from customers.
As Chief Happiness Officer Carolyn Kopprasch recently revealed , the influx of emails the Buffer team received during the hack was staggering:. Not exactly ideal. However, with all Buffer employees having at least some experience handling support, an all-hands situation became possible.
The incredibly positive reaction that Buffer received in handling this crisis is perhaps quite telling of what people generally expect from companies during a crisis i. There are, however, quite a few lessons that we can learn from companies who have dropped the ball during a crisis.
The antithesis to the great example Buffer set in responding openly and immediately is the nearly week-long response time of Sony Entertainment during the notorious PlayStation Network attack. People were outraged—if Sony deemed the attack dangerous enough to shut down the entire PlayStation Network, why did it take them days to let customers know that their personal information and even credit card data could potentially be stolen?
The nature of a crisis is that it is usually unforeseen, but as the following example shows, simple steps can often be taken to ensure that important company accounts—especially public social media profiles—will be secured, even if an employee decides to go rogue. Back when we discussed the power of virtual teams , I noted that trust was a big part of making a team work. Social media listening tools can help you find likely leads and discover key influencers you might want to engage.
They can help you benchmark your web traffic, blogs, social traffic, and views against your competition. And of course, in order to do that, you need to put yourself out there. And that means putting your brand at risk if you make a mistake. Just like in every other marketing channel, accidents can happen. For example, one of your employees could post a tweet from the corporate account, thinking they were using their own personal account.
The follow-up — or in some cases the attempted cover-up — is often worse that the original error. In this case, the Red Cross did the right thing by apologizing right away, and also poking a little fun at the situation. This infographic highlights the difference between a low-impact event and a severe emergency.