Nemo, the storm which hit the Northeast Corridor hard, was a crisis. And it’s before, during, and after a crisis that businesses can have breakthroughs in revenue, profits, branding, and relationships with employees, customers, the community, law enforcement, and more. We at Image Marketing Consultants noticed some best practices.
Having crisis plan/communications in place. All constituencies, be they customers or employees, knew what to expect and do, no matter what could go down in the weather event. The multi-dimensional message sent through comprehensive crisis planning was we care and we manage well.
Giving customers easy access to what they need. Right in the front of the store, a CVS along the shoreline had not only shovels but a variety of choices, clearly marked with affordable prices. This is one-stop shopping for whoever would have to dig out. No one had to go off to other stores to find an appropriate shovel and compare prices.
Figuring out the right incentives. One 24-hour call center had to be staffed, of course. If it wasn’t fully manned, customers would likely not contact it again. It provided attractive incentives, ranging from monetary to ritzy overnight accommodations, for employees to show up and stay as long as needed. One manager had suggested simply providing lots of free food. Fortunately she was ignored.
Thanking everyone in the loop. By time the storm ended early Saturday, businesses were using their social media networks, phones, and homemade signs expressing gratitude to those who had pitched in. A plumber who had braved the snow to fix the employee restroom in a 24-hour facility was celebrated as the Hero of Nemo 2013 on the intranet.
Crisis seems the new normal in 21st century. Those businesses which become skilled in navigating it will develop a unique kind of competitive edge.
Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, provides complimentary consultations on marketing, public relations, partnerships, special events, and social media firstname.lastname@example.org, 203-404-4868.