On February 19th, 2018 the #KFCCrisis was born. This happened when KFC ran out of chicken and 600 out of 900 of their stores across Britain were forced to shut down.
This didn’t just cost KFC money, it also created a social media meltdown. And this social media meltdown, and how KFC reacted, is something all business owners can learn from.
Everyone headed to their favorite platforms to rant and turn it into a meme opportunity. This had #KFCCrisis trending on Twitter and Facebook and allowed their competitors to take cheap shots at them.
Sure, your company might not be nearly as large as KFC, and it’s possible you haven’t experienced your company dealing with a full-blown social media meltdown. But there are still tips business owners can take away from the #KFCCrisis.
Here is the core strategy KFC used during their crisis that you can also use when you find your business going through a conflict. And remember, the biggest key is to use a human touch to deftly navigate the storm.
Tackle it head-on
When conflict arises there’s a lot of us that would rather pretend it’s not happening and turn a blind eye but that’s the polar opposite of what you should do when your business is under scrutiny.
Instead, act fast. Acknowledgment is key and it’s best to not pretend it’s not happening. By responding as soon as possible you are creating a human touch that also builds transparency and trust, which is essential to all businesses growth.
Everyone needs to be onboard
Make sure your internal team, whether it be the CEO, manager, or the salesperson, have the same tone and understanding when responding to comments.
This is an all hands on deck kind of situation, and everyone needs to be on board when it happens.
This also goes for offline conversations. When speaking to your local community you have to make sure everyone knows the correct voice to use to make sure your message is streamlined.
Experts say that sharing vulnerability will enhance your credibility as leaders.
You’re human, you’re going to make mistakes. Really let that shine through because it’s something people can understand and relate to.
When you’re being transparent acknowledge the issue, but do not blame anyone, especially your own people. If you start to point the finger in any direction besides yourself you will cause more conflict, both internally and externally. Unless you really enjoy fires and revenue loss, this is not a good idea.
KFC did a great job at sending a clear message acknowledging the situation, presenting facts, but then also poked fun at themselves.
A chicken restaurant having zero chicken is pretty ironic, and KFC knew that. They let people know they were addressing the issue but were also in on the joke.
Whether it’s a minor hiccup or a bigger issue your company is facing, having a good crisis management strategy is essential for businesses of all sizes because you’ll never know when you might run out of chicken.