The importance of crisis management

There can be no doubting what the major news dominating the headlines in the UK over the past seven days has been as computer problems caused a banking crisis.

NatWest, RBS and Ulster Bank customers have been affected, leaving people unable to access their money and unable to transfer funds.

A week since it started and normal service is yet to be resumed, much to the frustration of the people of all ages involved.

The crisis management of the companies involved has understandably been under close scrutiny and can provide plenty of food for thought for business owners who may one day need to react positively and swiftly to an unexpected and damaging scenario.

Here we look at what steps were put in place after the IT meltdown started:

Keeping the customers in the loop

Communication is the key to making sure customers are fully aware of the situation as it changes. One quick and easy way to do this is by posting a statement on a company’s website, like NatWest did. It features an apology and outlines how the RBS Group intend to deal with the situation by doubling call centre staff and extending branch opening hours.

Be proactive in reaching your customers

Posting a statement on the website and issuing it through traditional media channels is just one of getting in touch with disgruntled and worried customers. RBS, for example, sent out an email containing a useful update saying what’s going on and informing customers of the various special measures that have been put in place to compensate impacted customers. RBS sent out an SMS text update, while Facebook and Twitter are two other ways to communicate quickly with customers.

All hands on deck 

As already mentioned, the RBS Group, which owns NatWest and Ulster Bank, doubled call centre staff to cope with the extra demand and extended opening times at 1,200 branches during evenings and weekends.

If you’ve been impacted and are in need of some help and guidance then check out this useful BBC article about your rights.

(Pic courtesy of wwarby on Flickr)

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