Business Lessons from the Ebola Outbreak

Many Americans were left shaking their heads at the hospital response linked to the first Ebola case in the United States. The hospital in question turned away a high risk case, a man later diagnosed with Ebola. Unfortunately, this mistake led to panic and disbelief that our medical system was so unprepared. Even more puzzling was the slow media response by the hospital. Almost one month went by before they issued a mea culpa taking responsibility for their actions.

What can a business learn from this scenario?

Any business is open to mistakes. Mistakes lead to criticism and criticism leads to loss of revenue. The hospital now finds appointments cancelled, halls empty and a complete lack of trust in their services. A wise business owner will plan for events that can lead to business downturn and work hard to ensure that their business is insulated from the fallout of errors. Following is a list of items to consider:

  1. Own up to your mistake quickly. Don’t delay weeks or months. Your clients are well connected in the social world and word travels fast. People are more likely to forgive if the apology is quick and sincere.
  2. Correct your mistakes. Don’t let outdated practices continue if they are a weak spot for failure. Give training needed to keep employees up-to-date with safety practices, production procedures, and client relations.
  3. Start at the top. Make sure top personnel are role models. Businesses can succeed when the tone from the top is in sync with company policies and procedures.
  4. Work to gain back trust. Starting with your customers, work hard to regain their trust. Make sure your employees trust the system and are willing to work together to produce a united front to the business world.
  5. Consider hiring a media specialist. Marketing specialists can help you navigate the murky waters of social media. These people are trained to put your best business face forward to the world. They understand the value of what you do, and they are attuned to approaching potential media storms with ease.

In the business world, one transaction can make or break your business. Taking steps to ensure that your business is operating according to company policy can help minimize the risks of a bad experience. Taking appropriate action quickly when a bad experience occurs can mean the difference between staying in business and closing your doors. Plan ahead and don’t be caught off guard!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular
Now | Week | Month

View All Resources