Recently the biggest security breach of all time came into the picture when data including username and passwords were stolen from more than 3 billion Yahoo accounts. It resulted in a huge PR crisis for Yahoo and the way they dealt it was frowned upon by many in the industry. Not to forget the more recent Equifax hacks that have resulted in new regulations being passed to deal with things like this in the future.
No one is safe from hacking in the online world, however, there are certain steps that you can take to handle these situations effectively, if and when they happen to prevent a large-scale meltdown.
#1: Have a plan in place
Mistakes are bound to happen, though you can take steps to prevent it as much as possible, it is wise to be a step ahead and have an initial public relations contingency plan: one that will help in the continued sustenance of your business in case of a travesty. During an unexpected event, your first priority should be protecting your brand and your clients from loss and then be responding immediately and effectively to all the concerned stakeholders.
First, you have to assess and analyze to make sure that your business and your plans comply with the existing protocols. Next, find the spots that are prone to worst-case circumstances.
Once you are able to delineate what could possibly go wrong with your product, experts in the field will be able to assess the risks involved and the possible problems that come with it, as well as provide you a list of solutions and backup plans that will help in the quick recovery. This should be a detailed guide that outlines the preventive measures and procedures for reducing the overall impact of a crisis. Take the effort to revise and update this guide periodically.
#2: Be honest and straightforward
Once a crisis is underway, take utmost care to address the issue at hand in a clear and straightforward way by means of a transparent state, as soon as possible. By offering appropriate compensation for those customers who were affected by the crisis, you can buy some patience and trust.
It is highly important that you retain your peer trust and regain your customer trust. You can achieve this during a crisis by giving an instant and clear reaction that addresses everyone involved. A robust PR plan and an able customer relationships team can help you save the day, even during the worst times.
#3: Have backups and fail-safe mechanisms
In order to keep your operations safe, you should try services such as a source code escrow that guarantees a backup solution for the storage and protection of all the related data. When you are able to provide customers, especially large-scale enterprise customers, the ability to restore their data in times of crisis can save the face of your business as well help your customers continue to operate without downtimes. By giving your customers an assurance over such a system and solution will help you gain customers’ trust prior to a crisis and maintain it during a crisis as well.
By offering additional support and help during a time of crisis, your business can save face. If it proves to be impossible to continue delivering a service, then try and forge alliances with similar companies to provide your customers an alternative.
I hope this article was useful for you to learn more about the dangers of a PR crisis and how you can plan ahead to avoid it. We also discussed the ways in which you should act during a crisis to help your customers and save your reputation in the long run. If you have any doubts with regards to this, let us know through the comments and we will be glad to help you out. If you have any suggestions regarding how we can improve the article, let us know them through the comments as well for us to improve.
Do you have any other reservations about using a software escrow? Have you tried any other strategies and tools to make sure that a critical software for operation is not affected at any cost? What is your opinion on the state of the industry when it comes to SaaS businesses? Do you think it’s stable enough for small companies to flourish? Let us know through the comments.