How can the private submarine industry rebuild consumer trust?
In today’s fast-paced and interconnected world, companies can find themselves facing a crisis at any moment. Whether it’s a product recall, a data breach, or a public scandal, a company’s reputation, and consumer trust can be severely damaged and can affect the wider industry. This is what recently happened in the private submarine industry after the private submersible Titan, created by OceanGate, imploded on its way down into the Atlantic Ocean with five people on board, to visit the remains of the Titanic.
Acknowledging the crisis and taking responsibility
The first step in rebuilding consumer trust is acknowledging the crisis and taking swift responsibility for the situation. Transparency is crucial during this phase. Companies should promptly issue a public statement. In it, they should be accepting accountability for the crisis. By demonstrating genuine remorse and a commitment to making amends, companies lay the foundation for rebuilding trust. With OceanGate, only the company’s co-founder (no longer with the business) released a statement during the search for the private submarine. That was the only information that was released to the public during the search.
Open and transparent communication
Effective communication is essential during a crisis. Companies should provide timely updates and transparent information regarding the crisis, its causes, and the steps being taken to rectify the situation. This includes addressing any concerns or questions from consumers openly and honestly. Communication channels such as social media, press releases, and dedicated crisis response websites can be utilized to maintain a consistent flow of information. An open dialogue helps to rebuild trust by showing a willingness to address issues head-on and keep consumers informed. While reports surfaced that OceanGate has been indefinitely shut down, the company’s website is still advertising trips to the Titanic with its private submarine for the upcoming year.
Implementing corrective measures and learning
To regain consumer trust, companies need to address the root causes of the crisis. They should take concrete actions to prevent similar incidents from happening again. This may involve revisiting internal processes, investing in enhanced safety measures, or implementing stricter quality control protocols. By demonstrating a commitment to learning from the crisis and making tangible improvements, companies show consumers that they are taking the necessary steps to prevent a recurrence. OceanGate did the opposite in this situation, where the company’s CEO had proudly stated in the past how safety wasn’t an aspect that was important for such expeditions and the private submarine. Reports surfaced that the company was also facing a lawsuit from a former employee. The employee had been let go after raising the alarm on the safety of the private submarine.
Showcasing positive impact and social responsibility
Demonstrating social responsibility and making a positive impact can significantly contribute to rebuilding consumer trust. Companies should highlight their commitment to ethical practices, sustainability, and social initiatives. Engaging in philanthropy, supporting local communities, or partnering with reputable organizations can help restore confidence in the company’s values and intentions. By showcasing a genuine dedication to making a positive difference, companies can rebuild trust and reshape their public image.
Leveraging influencers and brand advocates
Influencers and brand advocates can play a crucial role in rebuilding consumer trust. Collaborating with influencers who align with the company’s values and have a loyal following can help disseminate positive messages and restore confidence. Engaging brand advocates can also enhance the credibility and authenticity of the company’s efforts. Leveraging the influence and reach of these individuals can amplify the company’s message. It can also accelerate the process of rebuilding trust. This is another misstep from OceanGate. Instead of working with brand advocates, many public figures released statements on how they were invited to the private submarine to take the trip to visit the Titanic and were supposed to do so in the coming months.