3 Ways To Regain Customer Trust After A Crisis

It can happen at any time, and without warning. One day sales are going well, and the next an E. coli outbreak occurs. Your PR team is forced to make public statements, and your business recalls thousands of products. A carefully built reputation disintegrates before your eyes.

What do you do when your brand suffers a major crisis?

As a marketer, it’s your job to minimize the damage, and control the response. On social media, negativity spreads like an infectious disease. A proactive person, or team, who knows the right way to respond is vital.

You’d be shocked to realize just how many organizations ignore social media during a crisis. While it is not mandatory to use social media, there are many benefits to creating a communication channel that can be used during a crisis:

– Prevent people from becoming misinformed.
– Allows consumers to contact the business quickly and receive answers in a timely manner.
– Shows brand to be actively interested in their customers well-being.

The Journal of Accounting Research found that “increased frequency of tweets by other users exacerbates negative market reactions as disgruntled users interject negative sentiment into the online dialogue, while increased frequency of tweets by the firm lessens negative market reactions.”

Don’t be the brand that ignores the basics of online crisis management. Here are 3 easy ways to ensure that your brand can regain customer trust after a major crisis.

1. Choose Your Social Media Networks Carefully & Maintain Them

This is good advice for marketers in all businesses. There’s a misconception that brands should be on every popular social media network. This isn’t realistic.

Pick two or three networks that you know your customers use the most, and maintain them regularly. Share content, engage with your followers, and monitor influencers who engage with your brand the most on this network.

When a major crisis occurs – customer trust won’t be at risk. Rather than having to field comments, and questions from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, LinkedIn etc, you’ll just be on the few that you can realistically manage.

People will still comment about the crisis on all the social networks, but they’ll know where your brand has a presence, and where they can get their answers. They’ll come to you.

2. Reply Quickly, Efficiently, and Honestly

“90% of enterprises say they use social media to respond to customer service inquiries–yet 58% of consumers who have tweeted about a bad experience never received a response from the offending company.” (Bluewolf)

And yet, “Customers who receive a quick and effective response are 71% more likely to recommend the brand.” (NM Incite)

It’s important to keep these statistics in mind as you read, and respond to customer concerns on your social channels. Respond quickly, respond efficiently (short, but personalized replies), and be honest.

3. Create An Influencer Campaign Focused On Rebuilding Customer Trust

Responding to social conversation isn’t enough. You need to repair the damage done to customer trust by addressing the concerns that have made consumers wary of your brand.

If your product was recalled because of an E. coli outbreak, for example, you need to address the problem head on, and then explain how your brand is reducing the likelihood of a reoccurrence.

Create a whole marketing campaign around the reliability of your brand.

Bloggers and social media power users build an audience by publishing authentic, thought-provoking, and visually appealing content. Their audience, made up of everyday consumers, enjoy consuming this content because they can replicate the ideas in their own lives.

There is a level of trust between the influencer, and the consumer, that rarely exists between a brand and its shopper. Unlike ads, which are paid for by big (and often impersonal) businesses, sponsored influencer content is published by someone who is relatable – a real person.

Next Steps

Acorn Influence has had the pleasure of working with some of the biggest, and best, brands in the world. Our case studies page features examples of how influencer marketing is providing true ROI for agencies, and brands alike.