Negative publicity can happen to any business, big or small. This can stem from a miscommunication or an unmet expectation. The reasons may vary but a business owner must always be prepared for it. Here are the 9 things that you can do after a negative publicity.
- Listen to what your customer has to say. Often a negative comment comes from miscommunication. When it comes to crisis management, the best way to correct this is by knowing what the origin or the problem was. Getting as much information as possible prepares you to create solutions.
- Think before you respond. It easy to get defensive and feel like you are being personally attacked when your company is criticized. All top PR agencies would advise you to not respond in anger or frustrations. Make sure to step back and think before you respond.
- Acknowledge a negative feedback quickly. Do not let it sit too long or its effects will be greater. Acknowledging negative feedback lets your customers know that you value making sure they receive good service.
- Apologize when needed. Sometimes all a customer really wants to hear is an apology. Say sorry when it is needed. Make sure not to apologize when you are not really at fault. This may come off as fake to your customers.
- Take appropriate action. When confronted with an issue, especially these directly affecting your customers, do something about it fast. Taking action provides you with a chance to redeem any miscommunication or mistakes that was committed. Taking action even in small issues go a long way.
- Ask for time if you need it. Some resolutions cannot be carried out instantly. In these cases make sure that you let your customers know that something is being done about their concern. Give them a reasonable time frame for issue resolution.
- Use facts to answer questions. Answer inquiries about the issue using the applicable facts and statistics. It is a good practice to use facts when it comes to public relations. Using made up answers to appease your customers will only produce some more negative experiences.
- Encourage positive feedback. An effective way to fight negative publicity is through positive publicity. If you have had customers in the past that are willing to vouch for you or give you positive feedback, encourage them. Positive feedbacks coming from other customers are useful for reputation management. You want your other customers and prospects know that they can develop a trust based relationship with you.
- Take notes. After the crisis and the resolution, the next best thing is to learn from it. You can learn from a negative feedback by knowing what your company is lacking and how you can improve your products and services. You can learn from the steps you took to resolve conflict by knowing the steps that can be taken in the future. Use negative publicity to your advantage by taking notes on the important lessons it has taught you.