The Best Ways to Respond to Downtime
It happens to the best of us. Downtime will cause major headaches for your business and your customers. It goes without saying that your number-one priority is to get your website up and running again as soon as possible. But downtime is just as much about dealing with your customers as it is about resolving technical issues. Even the slightest outage can send waves of hostility through your core group of consumers. If you give people a reason to complain, a few of them will gladly take advantage of the opportunity. You can stop the storm of negativity by addressing your customers’ concerns head-on.
Honesty Is the Best Policy
While your first instinct might be to make up a story about why your website went offline, it’s always better to be honest with your customers. Similarly, ignoring the situation completely will make your customers apprehensive about using your website in the future. It’s best to stick to your guns and explain in detail why your website went down. Apologize to your customers for the inconvenience and reassure them you’ll do everything you can to prevent outages in the future.
Show Your Customers How Much You Care
You can turn an embarrassing situation into a positive experience by giving your customers a reward for their loyalty. One of the best ways to deal with downtime is to send out a conciliatory email to your customers with a discount that they can use on future purchases. Everyone loves to save money. Most likely, your customers will be more than willing to forgive you if you give them a reason to keep coming back for more. Of course, handing out potentially thousands of coupons will hurt your bottom line, but at least your customers will still be there for you when you need them most.
Use Social Media to Your Advantage
Social media has evolved or devolved into a melting pot of negative opinions. When downtime strikes, your customers are probably going to hop on Twitter or Facebook to complain about their experience. You can minimize the negative feedback you’re about to receive online by responding to your customer’s concerns one at a time. Sometimes it’s not enough to send out a blanket tweet that apologizes for your website’s failings. You need to spend the time reaching out to aggravated consumers on a personal basis. Show your customers how much their opinion means to you by countering negativity at its source.
The best way to prevent downtime is to sign up for website monitoring. Pingometer will help stay on top of your website’s performance every step of the way.