Helping customers recover after service outages

08Mar11

A few days ago, we experienced an outage with one of the Internet connections at the office. I remembered reading about some scheduled maintenance on the line, so I checked out the provider’s system status page. Sure enough, they had a confirmed issue with the entire metro area, but the status page said that all services were up and running again.

So, if the problem was already fixed, why was our line still down? It turned out that we needed to reboot the modem. This wasn’t exactly a huge logical leap on our part, and it only took us a few extra minutes to come to the proper conclusion on our own. But if the provider had done their job, no guesswork would have been needed.

What am I referring to? It’s really quite simple. Any time that customers need to take action to recover from an outage, then you should convey those tips to them in your status emails, network status websites, and similar communication channels. Nobody enjoys service disruptions, but customers will be a lot more understanding if you make it easy for them to get up and running again afterwards.



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