Your brand, your identity, is more than just your organisations name; it is your promise, which you make to the public, and it will be around a long time to come. A badly handled incident can immediately have a negative impact, leaving you with a bad name and the tricky task of restoring your reputation, rebuilding trust and regaining the customer loyalty you’ve already worked so hard to create. In a competitive market place, consumers want to fly with a company that has a solid reputation and factors such as reliability, safety, comfort, and in-flight experience are all taken into consideration.
Here are four areas carriers should focus on to protect your brand..
When an incident occurs, you can minimise negative impact by taking control of the situation ASAP. Acting responsibly and being accountable in the wake of a crisis shows quality leadership and being able to confidently demonstrate how you’re leading recovery operations lessens the damage on public perception which helps people feel like they're in safe hands. Being able to make decisions quickly makes a huge difference and having swift access to all the various pieces of information you need is vital to do so. Once you can access all of the accurate information you need from the onset and you can base your decisions on facts, you can recover quickly.
With 90% of news editors going online within 20 seconds of hearing about an incident, quick and concise crisis communications across all platforms is imperative. You need to communicate your story and own it right from the start. This eliminates the risk of media spin, it shows you are looking after all involved and alleviates the panic element. Publicly communicating that you know exactly how to respond to such incidents can also help gain the trust of the public, employees, business partners and all involved.
Being able to announce live updates throughout an incident further displays trusted leadership. When you can report on the status of crew members and passengers on board and have answers for various other questions which are being asked, this shows your company is highly credible and rehearsed in how to respond to such events.
No one likes to be associated with bad news. Once you have contained the situation and made a full recovery, you should aim to end what may be a sad story for some in a positive way. Being able to demonstrate and prove that you had all the information needed and the response was carried out in line with the highest standard of protocol shows you have done your best, and that’s what matters now. Having a full log of how the incident was handled which will stand up in court is more than enough to end any media speculation.
It's important to remember, when you can't get your hands on the information you need in a crisis, or when the information you have isn't appropriate, you can miss opportunities and your performance drops. As it happens, the information management ability organisations need to succeed is already within their grasp.