According to the 500 business leaders we surveyed in our recent Crisis Response: Assessing the readiness of UK organisations to manage the impacts of a consumer crisis report, the failure to prepare and respond well to a crisis will cost their UK organisations, on average, £61m over the next five years.
Boardroom objections overruled
Given the potentially devastating consequences of a crisis, and the fact that in our recent survey 100% of businesses felt they were at risk of crisis in the next 18 months, it’s important that crisis response planning makes it onto the agenda of more boardrooms.
As crisis response specialists, we get to speak to the board of directors – when the crisis strikes. Our survey revealed that more than nine in 10 (93%) C-suite respondents had been personally impacted by a data breach. Of course, boards face many priorities and cost is often one of the greatest constraints on emergency planning. I addressed this and other barriers to crisis planning in a recent post: Breaking down barriers when forming a crisis response plan.
Cost no barrier in a crisis
But while cost is frequently presented as a barrier to investing in crisis response planning, money quickly ceases to be an issue when a crisis hits. After an incident, the floodgates open and no cost is too great when it comes to addressing the consequences, protecting customers and saving the business or organisation.
The costs of dealing with a crisis are significantly higher for businesses that have not planned their response in advance – that is why it is so important to plan in advance. Responding to a crisis means notifying customers quickly, notifying the regulators, tracing the source of the incident in the case of an IT breach, and identifying and retrieving compromised data. It means managing communications with stakeholders and the media.
Building rapport in advance
Appointing specialist partners in advance of a crisis, during the planning stages definitely has its advantages, such as reducing the time it takes to put the response into play and it also ensures that you can build a strong a stronger rapport across the teams, in advance making the whole live response scenario a more frictionless experience.
Marshal your resources in advance
Without contact centre and communication resources lined up, significant internal resource will need to be called upon to support your crisis response, communicate with stakeholders and respond to inbound queries from worried customers. Soaking up internal resource in the response hampers the ability of a business to function normally. The inability to maintain every-day operations exacerbates the impacts and costs of the crisis.
That’s why it’s so important to engage with crisis response specialists outside the heat of a crisis situation. It’s hugely reassuring to know you have plans and resources in place to respond effectively, without further compromising your business. When we speak to businesses about planning for a crisis situation, there is often a tangible sense of relief. Our specialists can guide you through the various considerations, engage the relevant internal teams, discuss what they need to do, determine responsibilities, assess the time involved and establish the resources required to respond effectively.
Ease the burden of crisis planning
We can take a lot of the practical management and decision-making away from senior leaders and provide reassurance that they will not be alone if a crisis strikes. The costs of crisis response planning are not unsurmountable . There are free resources available to draw up a basic plan, and we can offer various levels of tailored service according to specific business needs.
Our Guaranteed Reserved Response service provides the assurance that all the resources a business will need to deliver a customer-facing response will be in place, including full contact centre support and a senior manager to oversee the response. We work closely with law firms, IT forensics firms and crisis PR firms to deliver a collaborative, professional response to any crisis. Our plans ensure all of these specialists will be ready for rapid deployment in the event of a crisis.
Experian Data Breach Readiness Service: Guaranteed Reserved Response
Helping businesses to prepare to notify individuals and reserve essential response resources in readiness for a live incident.
Invest today – save time and cost later
Crucially, time and money invested in planning for a crisis in advance will significantly reduce the time, resources and cost involved in your response. Our crisis and data breach response experts can help you to think through all the possible eventualities and the mitigations you can put in place. That will enable your business to react swiftly and decisively following any kind of any crisis, which in turn will minimise the short and long-term impacts for your business, its employees and customers.
Do you have crisis response plans in place? Are they fit for purpose, or do they need reviewing? To find out more about crisis response planning, please visit our Data Breach page and contact one of our specialists to ask about our crisis response services. Feel free to also connect with me on LinkedIn.