Crisis, what crisis?

Paul Hunt

May 1, 2018

Paul Hunt is a marketing consultant

In the 20+ years spent working in the financial services market, I have spent many an hour in meetings discussing risk likelihood for a variety of potential incidents.

Rightly so this is an important part of corporate life, as the events of the last week have shown with TSB this time being in the spotlight for the failure of their systems during the transfer of their legacy IT relationship with Lloyds Banking Group to a new provider.

In all high profile incidents, it is interesting to see how a business manages its communications and seeks to reassure their various stakeholders. Transparency is key and if there is a problem, it needs to be recognised and communicated quickly.

As with any organisation you have to be prepared that news will circulate like the speed of sound and a localised issue can become a national or worldwide scandal quickly. Who remembers the American Airlines ‘man being dragged off of a plane’ incident?

What does this mean for small businesses though, as the TSB and American Airlines examples relater to national and international corporates? What it does show is that if the first response/communication is deemed unsatisfactory via the press or social media, all businesses can be vulnerable.

The following list isn’t exhaustive and thinking about what you’d do in the following circumstances could save you valuable time. However unlikely, serious incidents do happen and providing vital reassurance to your customers is essential during these periods:

  • When any Bank system fails, does it affect mortgage transactions, if so, how will you identify which of your customers are affected and how will you communicate with them?
  • Do you have disaster recovery plans in place to cover events such as loss of premises, IT failures/breaches or the theft/burglary of premises?
  • What would you do in the event of a long term absence or death of a director or adviser?

I hope that none of us have to manage any of the last two bullet points for our own businesses, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be prepared as by not being so, is not an option.

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