Experts talk about the steps a leader should take when faced with a possible ban on their firm’s services or products.

Uber Technologies Inc., the Web-based taxi hiring company, has been told to suspend its services in some states of India until it complies with regulations after a woman customer accused an Uber cab driver of raping her. We ask experts about the steps a leader should take when faced with a possible ban on their firm’s services or products.

Manage the crisis efficiently

Vishesh Chandiok, National Managing Partner, Grant Thornton India LLP

A ban on a service or product can have severe economic consequences of reputation for a firm. A leader should, therefore, be an efficient crisis manager, says Chandiok.

A good place to start is a sincere, unqualified apology to the victims affected by the firm’s product or service, even if the firm believes it’s not at fault. “The human and moral side of a crisis must always stand ahead of the business side,” says Chandiok.

At the same time, it is necessary to launch a probe into the incident. “A leader should understand the reason behind the incident so that the same can be addressed immediately to avoid a repeat,” he says.

It is equally important to assure the employees, investors, regulators and other stakeholders that the firm will stand for truth and that those who are at fault, irrespective of their seniority, will be appropriately dealt with. An independent and senior committee which includes well-known external nominees can help provide this assurance.

In case the company has complied with all regulatory procedures and legal formalities, a leader should communicate the same along with improvements the firm proposes voluntarily to ensure that such incidents are avoided in future. “Effective communication during crisis is half the battle,” Chandiok says. Even if the incident has occurred due to systemic issues outside the firm’s control, like ineffective laws or someone else not doing their job, a firm’s leadership should enhance its own control and checks to avoid similar incidents. “Strengthening controls beyond the call of regulation will not only help in serving the customers better, but will also create a socially responsible image for the firm,” says Chandiok.

The article appeared in MINT . The complete article can be found here.