Rebuild your business: 5 ways to deal with a company crisis

Gideon Schulman, director at Pytronot, shares his tips on how to deal with a company crisis and come back stronger than ever. 

Every company will go through a difficult period of business, and some may even experience a full-blown crisis.

This could be the breakdown of a big deal, the loss of a client or a social media disaster, but all of these cases can have a huge impact on the business and its reputation.

However, businesses are defined by their response to a crisis, dealing with it effectively and quickly, with many individuals not knowing there was a problem in the first place. These companies will have strategies in place that have been drafted for moments of panic.

The important detail to remember is that a catastrophe can occur at any point in the year.

Clear the air

The first procedure should always be to address the situation and those who are affected. If the crisis consists of an error to do with customer orders, or leaked information, it is important to act quickly, sending an apology letter or the equivalent post online. Having a speedy customer service team on hand to deal with any problems will help control the overall situation.

A company will also be judged on how well their customer service team performs, meaning if the problem is dealt with efficiently it will turn into a positive situation with individuals speaking highly of the brands customer service. For this to occur, staff will need to be fully trained in dealing with an array of issues, minimising the gap for errors.

Regain customer trust

After what could be seen as a damaging period towards a business, keeping consumer trust is only the next step in moving forward. The most popular way to do is by offering discount codes to members as a way of attracting them back to the website.

There is no doubt that this works and it can be very effective, however aim to think outside of the box.

If the business deals with meeting clients regularly or communicating with other brands, hosting an event or dinner party to re-build the strong relationships you have will demonstrate the effort your company shows to bounce back after a setback.

Raise positive awareness

With any crisis follows an outbreak of negative news. Before you know it, Google will be flooded with reports of the events that took place.

The best way to bounce back from this is to raise positive stories about the company. Whether this be through a blog or putting on an event, using SEO to your advantage and countering the negative news will help to increase reputation again. Getting press involved in a newsworthy event that you’re running can ‘cover up’ the crisis and allow the company to start on a clean slate.

Turn to specialists

In some cases, trying to deal with a crisis whilst also keeping a company running can be a tough task. This is where hiring a specialist could come in handy. The aim of a specialist team is to remove the situation as quickly as possible whilst keeping the business’ reputation intact.

One example of hiring a specialist would be to deal with any payroll problems that could have been leaked.

Using a vast amount of experience, specialists can be trusted to not only shut down a crisis but also set up any future plans for the business to enable the brand to bounce back stronger. Another benefit is having the learning experience. Watching specialists deal with such situations will give you feedback as well as future ideas on tackling similar issues.

Plan for the future

After dealing with a crisis in the best possible way, it is important to start thinking about the future.

Often, businesses will look to rebrand their company, almost starting from scratch. Having new designs for clothing, a new brand logo or new strategies will all bring a lease of new life to the company. Change is often overlooked as a negative, however if the crisis has taken a huge hit on the business, a change is for the best.

Bringing the team together to discuss future possibilities will allow for the sharing of ideas. As a business owner, asking employees for their thoughts on the situation and how they would rebrand the company can create inspiration and with everyone onboard, the process can be a real positive.

Gideon Schulman is HR director at Pytronot

Further reading on business troubles

Overcoming difficulties: How to improve your revenue growth

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Anna Jordan

Anna is Senior Reporter, covering topics affecting SMEs such as grant funding, managing employees and the day-to-day running of a business.

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