On March 2, a video circulated showing two young security guards from the Restaurant, Chicken Republic, dancing while on duty. The video quickly went viral on social media, and people praised the guards for doing their job with happiness and a cheering face which gladdened the hearts of restaurant guests.
Two days later, the story took a dramatic turn when it was revealed on Twitter, that both guards had been fired by their employer and without pay. While some citizens hailed this decision, others defended the guards and condemned the Chicken Republic for being too harsh in its punishment.
A couple of days later, the management of Chicken Republic responded to the crisis that they did not sack the young men. Instead, they have followed up with the security company responsible for the hires and assured that the security guards would not be fired; they have been paid for their services to date and offered additional training.
Chicken Republic Responds to
Security Guard Video pic.twitter.com/tmtXmrXPic
— Chicken Republic (@ChickenRepublic) March 4, 2022
However, the damage had already been done. The general public and other brands like KFC and Sterling Bank had jumped on the trend to take a jab at Chicken Republic. It should be noted that most companies strive to build an image of excellence. They do this because they know how much a positive brand image can improve their bottom line. A good reputation attracts new customers and loyal fans, who will spend more on your products and services. It also keeps current customers from jumping ship to competitors.
In the age of social media, it takes very little for the public to form negative perceptions of your brand if you make missteps. Here are a few lessons brands can learn from:
Be Clear About Your Brand Culture.
As harmless as it looks, security guards dancing on duty can be damaging if it goes against the brand culture of the company they work for. Brand culture is the ideas, beliefs, attitudes, and psychology that make up the foundation of a brand. It informs brand behavior, influences brand experience, and shapes brand perception. BasicSimply put, it manifests itself in how employees and customers interact with your company. Therefore, it is a big deal when staff members do not conform to brand culture.
From the statement made by the Chicken Republic, it was clear that dancing on duty goes against the brand culture of the Chicken Republic and the security agency that the dancing guards work for, hence the sanctions.
Therefore, to avoid unwanted surprises from your staff’s actions or behavior, always ensure that your brand culture is shared with all employees and reflected in their work.
Consider Your Staff As Humans.
This is probably one of the most effective ways of keeping your customers happy. As much as you want your brand to be successful, you should also understand that your staff is also human who makes mistakes just like everyone else does.
When these mistakes happen, find a way to remedy the situation or if possible, spin it in your favor. For example, the offense by the security guards gave Chicken Republic a lot of publicity they could have leveraged and spun to their favor. And then later, address the issue internally to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
If it is a grave mistake, still apply tact in handling the situation. Let your customers know that you have taken steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again, and even better, educate them on what they should do if such happens again in the future. And then, deal with the erring staff as professionally and humanely possible.
Have A Crisis Plan In Place.
It can be as simple as:
- Identify the problem
- Communicate or apologize to your customers, assuring them that the issue is being looked into.
- Agree on a way forward.
- Implement the solution and communicate the results.
- Track your customers’ reactions to ensure that you have resolved the issue
The last line is very important. Don’t just issue a statement, ensure that the issue is resolved.
Be Prompt With Response To Scandals.
A crisis can hit any business at any time. It is a fact of life, and one of the things that make running a business so difficult. A scandal may be caused by something you did, or it might be a result of something outside your company – but either way, the result is the same: a damaged reputation that could cost you customers and your reputation.
The internet is a very fickle place, and one wrong move can result in a huge amount of trouble for your company.
If you run a business, you should have a good idea of how to address public relations issues when they arise. If you don’t, hire a professional.
When things get out of hand, make sure you act quickly and decisively. If not, like in the case with Chicken Republic, the public will take matters into their own hands and can potentially muddle the situation even more than it already is.