How to Handle Downtime with your Customers
Nothing is worst than your website experiencing down time, especially if you’re a CRM provider or any kind of website providing a continual need for service. Your customers rely on your CRM to make money and while anyone can experience downtime for any number of reasons, your customer will still be understandably upset. Here is how to handle the situation with your customers and save face.
1. Spread the Word ASAP
The second you notice your website is down, have whoever runs your social media accounts get the word out quick. Customers are on your CRM clicking and working all day long, so even down for 5 minutes a lot of people are going to notice. Don’t let them call you reporting the problem and have an employee agree to “pass the problem along.” This just shows somehow your company doesn’t notice when it’s website is actually down. Immediately send an email out to all employees and another to customers stating very generally website is having some connection issues, you are aware, and working on the matter.
2. Keep the Updates Regular
Make sure to take advantage of Facebook, Twitter, your website, email, etc, to keep customers in the loop. Make sure they know that their business is important to you and your team. Have an employee to respond to any Facebook comments and take advantage of live chat. Don’t stop updating until the problem has resolved. Every 30 minutes there should be something new depending on how long your outage is. Make sure a timestamp is always attached to updates so customers can see they are viewing the most recent information.
3. Compensate Accordingly
Sometimes a long term outage is unavoidable. If customers are deprived of access to their CRM, they are being deprived of doing business. If your outage lasts all day, find a way to credit this to the customer’s account. Don’t wait until complaints come in and customers start demanding it. Customers will appreciate that without even asking, you are already aware of their loss of business, their frustration, and their desire to have things set right. You’ll be surprised just how quickly this can take care of customer’s who would have been calling and complaining. All a customer wants is to be heard and empathized with.
The clothing company ASOS sent out this email when their website went down and it is a perfect example of the simple honest truth!
4. Be Honest
Don’t be afraid to share the details. Customer’s can see through generic answers and BS. Be honest, own up to the problem. With websites like Down For Everyone Or Just Me, CurrentlyDown, customers can easily verify whether the connectivity issues to your website are them or you. It’s just not worth it to risk a customer knowing the problem is you and you don’t even know it. If your servers are down, let them know you’re working with the Server Farm company. If you aren’t sure what caused the problem, tell them. It won’t make things better, but it certainly won’t make things worse like lying. As with life as well!
This should be a no-brainer. Every update on the situation, every customer interaction, every email to customers, all need an apology. Make sure you are letting the customer know that you apologize for the inconvenience, you understand their frustration, you know how important it is for them to do their business, and once over precautions will be taken to prevent another major outage. If your down time is rare, make sure a customer knows this and don’t be shy to include why they should stick around.
Look, these things happen. Every customer will not understand the technology behind it, or the specifics, or always be understanding. But trying these 5 tips should help for a smoother process during what is already a bumpy situation. What do you think? How do you handle outages for your customers?
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