Today's businesses are supported by a wide variety of technology systems, many of which are directly tied to customer needs. When any of those supporting systems breaks down or malfunctions, both the business and its customers suffer. Recent examples include two major airlines that each suffered a major system outage earlier this month, resulting in delayed and cancelled flights.
Despite the best preventative efforts, system outages can affect all businesses, no matter how large or small. In this post, we discuss some of the ways that your business can make the best of a bad situation and improve customer experience during a system outage.
Have a Communications Plan Ready
When the unthinkable happens, your business needs to be prepared. And, it is just as important to have a system outage communications plan ready as it is to implement proactive measures to prevent outages in the first place.
In the case of any kind of system outage, you need to have a mass communications plan in place for your customers, and know exactly who is responsible for sharing key information with customers. Your communications plan should be multi-channel, which means that your business should be prepared to share updates via email, phone, and appropriate social media channels.
Your initial communication to customers should include these basic items:
- What is causing the outage (if this information is known)
- How the outage is affecting your customers
- How you are minimizing the effects of the outage in the short-term
- How you will resolve the outage in the long-term
- Steps you are taking to prevent the system outage from occuring again
Minimize Wait Times with Call Center Software
In the case of a major system outage, you can expect your call center to receive a flood of inbound calls. And any time that call volume increases, customers often experience longer wait times.
With virtual call center software, you can reduce these wait times and ensure that customers are routed to the next available agent as quickly as possible. One essential feature for minimizing caller wait times is queue callback; with this feature enabled, your callers can request a call back from the next agent and hang up without losing their place in the queue.
Engage Your Customers on Social Media
Today's consumers communicate with businesses through more outlets than phone and email. In the event of a system outage, many customers express their questions, concerns, and frustrations through social media channels. It is important for your business to not only respond to these concerns, but also to communicate regular updates proactively via these channels. Even if the problem cannot be resolved right away, you need to continually update your customers on your efforts to minimize the effects of the outage.
Using Cloud Communications to Support Disaster Recovery
Looking for more information on how cloud-based communications can help you manage customer experience in the event of system outages and other unplanned events? Explore these related articles: