Programs internal brand ambassadors (employee advocacy programs) They are often carried out as corporate branding reinforcement. But as I wrote in another post, one of the functions to take into account these programs is to help combat a crisis.
¿Crisis? Until now fear prevailed over the opportunity
Typically in business is to think that employees are can cause a crisis; theory half empty has been imposed to the half full. But today, you have to be blind not to see it with a contrary perspective: the (misnamed) employees are professionals committed to a project, excellent spokespeople and carriers of corporate values.
The challenge of a crisis (and all enterprises suffer) it is always easier when the defense has prepared beforehand. Organizations often have a crisis manual that usually have protocols and responsible for implementing Crisis.
But the manual has become outdated if you do not take into account the main factor of business confidence between the organization and the market: employees, people like us and technical experts and academics (view summary Edelman Trust 2017).
The secret: humanize brands and organizations
The idea is clear, people want to communicate with people, not by abstract entities such as companies or brands. That puts business professionals as the main drivers of trust. As paper and bits endure it all, rather illustrate a real example:
A crisis with Banco Sabadell
I manage my finances with Banco Sabadell since the demise of the Banca Jover, my former Trust Bank, on 1999. I have always tried to wonder. In 2013, nevertheless, I suffered an unexpected setback: wordlessly, I canceled a credit via burofax.
In fact, I never asked for the policy, They offered me insisting that it would cost if not used. After more than 10 years without using, on 2013 and different circumstances cash, I used. And it was then when it was canceled without notice.
I decided to act in the same way as the bank, and I published a post in this blog denouncing this practice surprising. logically, I shared the post on social networks.
The alert system online reputation Banco Sabadell quickly detect the possible crisis that could arise. Two minutes to issue the tweet, el community manager, from their own staff, He asked me "follow back" to send a direct message. I asked in a phone message. They did not pass 10 minutes to give the phone when I contacted the bank branch manager apologizing for the error, a communication error.
It seems that the bank had no intention to cancel the policy arbitrarily. What happened is that there was a change in the interest rate, and they forgot to communicate it. By failing to respond, CRM understood that I was not interested to continue with the policy, and the rest is the burofax.
Obviously, the policy was restored and everyone is happy. A few days later I removed the post.
What I can say is that I had not responded to a tweet issued by Banc Sabadell. I did it because he addressed me a person like me, with name, surname and soul.
My current relationship with Banco Sabadell is not only good but, By life things, I've even given talks to some of its directors working with the team content.
Bidirectional communication or death
This example highlights the importance of avoiding at all costs one-way communication that still prevails -Unfortunately- in many organizations.
Like people, companies can make mistakes, but they can not respond with a bot to something that affects the values and beliefs of a person, and less in a crisis situation. The bot can be helpful as a first ultra-fast response "in a few moments a professional of our company will contact you". But after peer communication is required to equal. And here comes the role of the professional as an ambassador and spokesperson for the brand.
Assign responsibilities and protocols crisis
With the above I do not mean that all responsibility is placed on employees to resolve a crisis. Obviously there is a communication department that is who should take charge of the matter.
The employee acts here as reinforcement reinforcement brings credibility and confidence. Crisis under special measures required. It is time to show that all companies are human and that companies are the sum of the people who support them.