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Blog

Jul 12, 2017

How to Use Technology to Protect Your Brand From a Crisis

Stressed consumer relations manager handling a brand crisis

[Estimated reading time: 4 minutes]

In every Consumer Relations professional’s perfect world, crises don't exist. There are no poor product launches, no viral negative customer experiences, no recalls. There are only happy customers sharing their amazing experience with your brand and recommending your products and services for all the world to see.

But...stuff happens. Every organization will experience a crisis at some point.

According to a survey by Forbes, corporate executives relate 25% of their total market value to their brand reputations, and nearly 90% of them believe risks that threaten their reputation are a key business challenge.

You probably already have a plan in place for crisis communication. But what if you had the power to see the future? What if you could see an issue before it becomes a full-blown crisis, and had the ability to resolve it before it happens? This could protect your brand image and save your organization thousands if not millions of dollars in the long run.

Detecting the Crisis

Today's technology equips Consumer Relations teams to protect the brand better than ever before. By using more advanced consumer engagement software, companies can configure customized threshold reporting to get an early alert if something may be heading in the wrong direction. When data spikes surpass your unique threshold level, the CRM system will trigger a warning alert to the Consumer Relations team.

Social networks can play a key role in the early stages of crisis management. When there is a product or service issue, or potential PR crisis, customers usually take to their social media accounts to spread the word to their friends and followers. With the average internet user having five different social media accounts (active on an average of three accounts), news of a potential crisis can start on one platform and move to others. This is why having social listening tools is key for any PR or Consumer Relations team. By using social listening, your team will be able to track sentiments and trends, while the software uses natural language processing to identify opportunities for real-time communication.

Your team can set up specific tags and keywords relevant to your brand, and the social media management platform will monitor and alert you in real time, allowing you to meet customers where they are. According to Forbes’ tips for reputation management in the digital world, “Sometimes social listening tools will pick up the chatter about a topic that you may not expect and will give you time to address it before it blows up within the social stratosphere. Most of the brand disasters could have been prevented just by picking up the early chatter and being prepared to address it before it escalates.” With intelligent tracking tools, you can automatically discover relevant conversations about your brand and intervene if necessary.

Resolving the Crisis

The software alerted you of a potential issue -- now, how do you proactively communicate to affected customers? Today's technology provides tools to quickly and effectively engage unhappy customers. With in-depth, comprehensive views of each customer in your CRM, you have the ability to push out notifications and responses to the affected customers.


Image result for olive garden logo

Olive Garden customers were unhappy about the company’s decision to advertise during a controversial television program. More than 24,000 contacts were received in the CRM during the 24 hours after the broadcast. With the abilities of Astute’s ePowerCenterTM, the Olive Garden consumer relations team was able to respond to every inquiry and explain their decisions and policy – all in a matter of hours.


Depending on which department handles company social media accounts, there is a risk of inconsistent and inaccurate information being shared with customers. When a crisis breaks out, the most important thing is to provide your customers with consistent, accurate information. Within an advanced social media command center, your team will be able to see every interaction, and create meaningful, one-to-one engagements across every major social platform. High-priority posts can be identified and auto-routed to the correct person to respond, regardless of department. Each response is written and tracked within the system, ensuring there is no duplicate work. With a social media tool integrated into the CRM system, every interaction is captured in the customer’s history.

Protect your brand

So what are you waiting for? Equip your Consumer Relations team with advanced technology and sleep better at night knowing you’ll always be one step ahead of any potential crisis. With ePowerCenter and Astute SocialTM, you can power up your teams with the tools needed to detect and resolve crises before they happen.

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