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Posted Monday, October 29, 2012 in Social Media by David Winter

Can companies build meaningful relationships with their customers during times of crisis in a way that seems genuine?


  • Patty_author
    Patricia Seybold on October 30, 2012 at 5:28 p.m.


    You may be bored, but the question is a good one! Building a relationship in a time of crisis IS one of the most genuine opportunities companies have. There are (at least) two kinds of crisis:

    1. An individual customer's crisis--something has gone wrong for me and it impacts my life/job!

    2. A large crisis, such as a hurricane or other event that negatively impacts MANY people...

    The problem with most crisis management approaches to #2, is that companies seem to forget that it causes #1. It may well be the case that 2 million people are out of power. But I'm also without power, so it's a problem for me!.. Of course, in a time of major misfortune and crisis you would hope that people would be understanding... but here are some things that worked for me--

    Just before this hurricane hit, I received PROACTIVE emails from many of my suppliers. In the case of my cable supplier, the email said: remember that we can't restore your cable/internet service until the electricity is restored, but if you want to track our outage footprint send a text message to this number -- with the word OUT and you'll receive a list of known outage areas and estimated times to be back in service.

    I jotted that info down and was happy to have it. My phone company also emailed me to tell me what to do, which included reporting an outage even if I thought others had already done so.. I suspect that this is so that I'll have something to do and won't feel powerless...

    It's true that there were a LOT of blanket emails from everyone offering tips and advice..

  • Ronni_author
    Ronni Marshak on October 31, 2012 at 5:25 p.m.
    Great points Patty and David. I just posted about how Chase and Citi tried to reassure customers and help alleviate some anxiety during the hurricane. Check out the post!
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