With the advent of fast internet technologies and the ease of shopping online, people are more comfortable dealing in the virtual world than taking the pain of haphazard of the physical world. However, running a business in such a technically advanced world comes with a list of challenges.
Every business today can be vulnerable to identity theft and cybercrime, internal theft, skimming, client accusations and a lot of other fraud and theft allegation.
Cases of businesses being victim of cybercrime, employee theft and clients accusing companies of stealing are not unusual; though some have merit, others may be just the misunderstandings. In order to deal all such complex issues, every business must have a proper strategy based on legal parameters that ensure all such matters are resolved in the best possible way.
As a fact of the matter, you need an expert to devise a plan against business fraud and theft accusations, however, this article will discuss how to immediately response to such a situation and strategically safeguard your business against theft and fraud allegation.
1- Allow Client to Lodge Complaint:
Some businesses simply block off the communication with clients when they raise accusations of theft or fraud. This is probably the worst thing you can do; there may be a genuine reason behind it and listening to the client is only way to explain yourself better. Ideally, your business should have a complaints desk or an employee responsible for resolving such matters to avoid escalation.
Once, the client has lodged the complaint, give them a specific time not more than 48 hours. This is important to convey them that you need this time to look into the details and serve them at your best.
2- Investigate the Issue on High Priority;
Remember that being accused of theft or fraud can have serious consequences, especially when you are not dealing the situation carefully. The business may lose reputation if the client uses social media or other channels to amplify the issue. Moreover, you may also lose business license or clients!
So, be wise and have your most sensible employee onboard to strategically deal such a situation. Ideally, the client should provide a documentary evidence if possible, and based on the allegation, seek to determine whether the client has a genuine grievance or it’s a simple misunderstanding.
3- Keep the Client Posted with Updates:
At times, you may find it difficult to resolve the issue within the promised time. Not replying to the client in such scenario can escalate the issue, so, it’s always better to keep the posted about the progress so far. Ideally you should update them within 36 hours if you’ve given them a 48 hours’ time frame.
And yes, do check this quick guide on writing an effective response to client complains.
4- Resolve the Complaint:
Aim to resolve the issue in a way that both parties do not feel taken advantage of. In case if it is established that theft did not occur, precisely explain the details. If the complaint is genuine, compensate the client accordingly to alleviate the costly litigation and negative publicity.
5- Protect Your Business against Future Theft Allegations
Responding to a theft or fraud allegation in emergency requires your workforce to put an extra effort on it and it can be big compromise on the overall productivity. Devising a strategy to help guard against future malpractices, allegations or misunderstandings is unavoidable and you must work closely with a legal expert to develop a comprehensive legal framework to protect your business against identity theft and all other kinds of fraud & theft.
The Bottom Line:
You may be running an ecommerce store and a customer accuses you of stealing your credit card information. Or you may be developing a software for a client and he accuses you of intellectual property theft. Or you may be running a handyman business and one of the customers accuses you of taking valuables from his house. All these situations can be highly frustrating, but the future of your business’ profitability depends on how well you deal the situation.
I hope the above 5 steps guide will help you avoid the frustration of being accused of fraud & theft and better preventing your business from legal complexities.