By: Shad Bookout
There is a storm coming. You can’t see it yet but you know it is out there, just waiting over the horizon. There is no wind, no rain and no snow with this storm. But the effects can be just as devastating as the most severe climatological event. Tie yourself in and prepare for the long haul. Your business is being impacted and it is up to you to help it weather the storm.
The Origins of the Tempest
There is nearly no one single event that can totally devastate a company’s success. Usually it is a series of happenings that causes the ultimate demise. Maybe you upset the wrong customer and they decide that they must seek the vengeance of a spiteful demon. Or, maybe you have failed to evolve with the times and allowed your brand to become outdated and antiquated. For some, even making the wrong hiring decision can light the fuse on a chain reaction that leads to an unfathomable abyss. You can spend hours (hundreds of them) trying to determine each and every possible scenario in which something could go wrong. That much time focused on this could unto itself be a catalyst for failure. But you can only prepare for so much. The truth is that it is more how you handle it that helps you navigate the events that are about to unfold.
Navigating Trouble Waters
When trouble strikes, the worst thing you can do is stick your head in the sand like an unwitting ostrich. There has never been a more important time for you to engage with your customers and to stand up for the things that make your brand special. Today’s customer is more informed than ever, and it is easy for them to determine the truths about the value of your brand. It quickly becomes obvious if you are the type would rather run and hide or deal with the situation at hand. This is especially true for online reviews. It is better to show you are trying to help the customer, rather than allowing a verbose berating over the quality of your brand. The more customers get to see behind the curtain, the more they will be willing to accept that you are working on resolutions to issues.
Grow From Failure
Bill Gates once said, “It is fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” Brands that are constantly growing and/or evolving must inevitably run into challenges. Openly discuss these challenges and how you are dealing with them. Once you have remedied the situation, be generous in sharing the steps that led to the found success. Allow your customers to give their input into resolutions and future challenges. By leading the conversation rather than playing damage control, your brand can grow – not just financially, but socially as well.