What happens if you own a business that profits off a disaster? We are not talking about the price gougers and con-men who use disasters for their own selfish gain – there is an entirely different group of people who inadvertently profit from disaster.
Think about the tree removal specialists that were working around the clock in the aftermath Hurricane Irene or the construction crews that are instantly called into action rebuilding homes after a tornado strikes the Midwest. When disaster strikes these businesses must respond by providing a necessary service but they also have to make money to run their business.
Some may call this profiteering or unfair. How can you protect your reputation to make sure that people do not view your business in these ways?
Do Your Job – The old acronym, KISS (Keep it Simple, Stupid) holds very true here. Approach the situation like it is an ordinary day, sticking to what you do best will allow you to focus on the work that needs to be done.
Don’t Jump Up and Down with Joy – We get it, you are making lots of money off of the disaster. No one except for you and your accountant needs to know this. Just carry out your business and behave as if your bottom line is unchanged.
Remember Your Audience – These people just suffered a disaster, some have lost entire homes or in the worst case family members or friends. When they contact your company to remove a tree that just fell on their house, they may be a bit upset. Your customer service staff should be briefed on the proper way to handle these issues. Be respectful and attentive, these two qualities will go a long way in improving your standing during and after the disaster.
Always remember, it is never a good idea to make it seem like you are riding on the backs of those who have lost so much, just to make a profit. With our advice above you can get through these times and come out at the end with your business and reputation intact.