New research conducted by PSG Plus amongst a nationally representative sample of 1,000 consumers and 40 of the top Irish business leaders showed a potential disconnect between how consumers and Irish organisations perceive crises.
The biggest fear for business leaders was loss of customer data through a breach or hacking (90%) while consumers’ biggest business taboo was being misled or lied to by a company.
Over 36% of consumers would hold the entire senior management team responsible for resolving the crisis. This is at odds with responses from CEO research, 66% of whom assume responsibility themselves.
Furthermore, 79% of consumers will not forgive companies that mislead them, seeing it as the single most unforgiveable act for any company to commit.
Agency Director at PSG Plus, Alan Tyrrell commented, "Interestingly, 45% of consumers expect an organisation to immediately launch an investigation into how the crisis occurred. 39% of consumers will seek facts from regulatory bodies, with another 30% going to traditional media."
He added, "Organisations now have a very short window of time to inform, communicate and manage crises effectively, as consumers will rapidly fill the communications gap themselves via social media. Senior business leaders must learn to communicate very efficiently, otherwise they run the risk of a crisis becoming a catastrophe."