A data security breach can be incredibly damaging to your business- but if you know how to react to a situation like this, then you can come out of the other side with minimal repercussions. After a data breach, your biggest priority is to gain back your customers’ trust, since it’s likely to have been lost after the breach. Here are some ways you can do so:
Be As Transparent As Possible
Beating around the bush or staying quiet is only going to make things worse. The best thing to do is be honest with your customers from the very beginning about what exactly has happened, what data has been stolen and who is affected. Anything that you try to cover up is only going to look worse if it gets released in the future, so rip off the band aid and be transparent from the beginning. Your customers will appreciate you for it.
Outline Your Plan Of Action
When something as serious as a data breach happens, the first thing that people will want to know is what you’re going to do about it. People may feel unhappy that you’ve let their data fall into the wrong hands, so time is of the essence if you want to keep the peace.
As soon as your team have made all the relevant decisions about moving forward from the data breach, you need to let your customers know how you’re going to respond to the situation. In the face of a crisis, there’s nothing worse than staying silent, as this can immediately cause you to come across as untrustworthy.Be as specific as possible about your plan of action so that your customers know that they are in safe hands. Let people know that you are going to increase your monitoring for any suspicious activity and make the necessary enhancements to your security systems.
If you’ve discovered that an outdated system was the reason for your breach, then be open with your customers about the fact that you will be switching to a new system. You can buy Microsoft Office from retailers like Software Pal, who only offer newer, more secure Windows software, so your business is best protected going forwards. All you have to do is secure your payment and click the download button to install the software directly onto your computer.
Hearing that some of their data has been stolen and possibly misused can cause a customer to feel as if the rug has been pulled from under their feet- so give back the control by advising them on what they can do to put the situation right.
If a customer’s online account may have been accessed, you should advise them to change their password immediately, as well as on any on other accounts that they may have used the same password for. You should also instruct people to keep an eye out for anything that seems suspicious in the future and avoid clicking or downloading any questionable links.
A customer who is concerned about their account’s safety will appreciate your advice and take the necessary steps to protect themselves.
A data breach can be incredibly distressing for both you and your customers, and if you want to stay in their good books, it might be a good idea to offer some kind of reimbursement. This depends on what kind of service you offer. If you’re an app, you might want to offer affected customers a month’s free subscription access. Not only will this help to keep customers’ opinions of you positive, but it also increases the likelihood of them remaining loyal to your brand.
If you don’t want to give away anything for free, you could offer an incentive like a discount on any future products that customers purchase, or a buy-one-get-one-half-price deal.
Make sure to cleverly word your incentives. You want to avoid saying the word ‘sorry,’ since this can make it seem as if the data breach was entirely your fault. Instead, thank customers for sticking with you through thick and thin, before enticing them with your offer.
Take Care Of Your Staff
Since your staff are the face of your business, they’re the ones who will have to deal with some of the backlash after a data breach. If the breach is serious, then your phones will likely be ringing off-the-hook for the first few weeks, which can soon leave the poor customer service team feeling frazzled.
To make sure things go as smoothly as possible, hold a meeting as soon as possible after the breach to guide staff on exactly what to say to customers who may be feeling concerned or angry. Since staff moral may need a boost until the storm passes, why not buy everyone’s lunches for a week to say thank you? It’s small incentives like this that will keep your business secure through any troubles.