When a company faces a crisis, how they handle it determines how they will be perceived. If they are transparent then consumers feel as though they are trustworthy. If they don’t seem honest the popular opinion of them will plummet. The perfect example of this is back in 2016 when United Airlines passenger, David Dao, was dragged off an overbooked flight. If you’re not familiar with that story you can read about it here, but this is the prime example of a company not handling a crisis in a way that resonates with consumers.
Today everyone has the ability to whip out their smart phone and record any situation within 2 seconds. This type of proof can often be very objective since it is one sided but it can be damaging to companies’ reputations nonetheless.
There is no hiding the facts when it comes to video proof so it’s important for companies to understand and acknowledge when something has been done wrong. 81% of consumers surveyed said brands must be transparent on social media.” (1) Consumers are holding companies to a higher expectation than ever before when it comes to transparency. With everything available online, when a company isn’t transparent they are allowing their consumers to take to the internet to find out whatever is accessible. The information that is on the internet may not be accurate but it will shape your consumer. If a company is transparent they are eliminating third-party interference with their image. (2).
When companies acknowledge and address concerns they are also showing empathy. This approach allows consumers to know that the company takes the issues seriously and makes them feel heard, respected, and understood (3). “56 percent of those surveyed said they would be loyal to a company for life if it provided complete transparency” (2). These results reinforce the tried and true adage “honesty is the best policy”.