Why Crisis Management is Essential to Any Business Continuity Plan

Whether their customers and followers realize it or not, any business worth its salt always has a plan for the unthinkable. When things go south, when complaints pile up, or a controversy arises, you need to have anticipated these events and have a strategy set in place.

Business continuity is the overarching term used to describe the planning and preparation for any task that needs to be undertaken in order to ensure a company’s vital functions continue in the event of any serious incident, from power outages to supply-chain disruptions to major disasters. A comprehensive business continuity program includes the larger continuity plan, which ensures the integrity of the company’s infrastructure; a recovery plan, to bring back any failed operational element; a contingency plan; and a crisis management plan.

The art of crisis management (for it is an art) is often confused with business continuity, and while they are similar necessities, crisis management is its own animal. It is the act of using predetermined responses and actions to help your company weather a public-facing storm, whereas the larger business continuity plan focuses on keeping the entire business up and running.

The process is undertaken well in advance of any affecting event, as you identify and determine best practices for handling an issue before it arises. After the necessary prep work, your team will be ready to respond proactively to any volatility. Should an event occur, the team will keep close track of incoming data for real-time feedback on the situation and the effectiveness of the response. Once recovery is underway, the crisis team will be on the lookout for fallout—risks that only appear after the initial upheaval. Finally, your team will use its newfound knowledge to help plan for (or better yet, avoid) the next instance.

Partners like ModSquad are often a wise choice for those unprepared or unable to deal with crisis planning and management. If you don’t have a team on hand to respond right away to the emergence of a crisis, you might be ready to bring in a partner. Having a trusted ally who has worked up your crisis plan and knows the associated risks and requirements gives you a head start on managing any burgeoning problem. Here at ModSquad, we have managed teams of experts ready to assist with a client’s crisis. It’s also worth noting that not every crisis is necessarily apocalyptic. Some of the smaller-scale scenarios that could still greatly affect any company are situations we also help manage, including:

  • Social Media: If a customer complaint goes viral or a hashtag has been co-opted for undesirable reasons, companies can find themselves under attack on social media.
  • Customer Support: Product recall? Insufficient supply of a hot new item? Marketing blitz resulting in a tidal wave of incoming queries? Any of these scenarios can leave you swimming in customer inquiries.
  • Community: Digital communities can be a hotbed of feedback, sometimes including inflammatory comments; contain the situation and ensure a positive experience for all.
  • Product Launch Boom or Bust: Whether your product launch had a meteoric rise or went terribly sideways, it’s vital to address your customers as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Does your business continuity plan contain a comprehensive crisis management plan? If not, procrastination is not your ally. Get started today, or get help doing it. And should your worst-case scenario comes to pass, look for a crisis management specialist to help rectify things. You’ve worked too hard for anything less.

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