You may think that the only thing your business loses during an episode of website downtime is profits, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Oftentimes, a business will also lose customer confidence, customer satisfaction, and respect after an instance of extended downtime. In fact, website downtime is one of the leading causes of damage to a site’s reputation. How you handle that downtime and make amends with your customers after downtime happens can have a drastic impact on just how much that website downtime affects your business.
What to Do During Downtime
Your site is down. You know your customers are trying to access it. What do you do? You can leave them in the dark until the episode is over, but that is going to wreak havoc on the reputation of your site. What you need to do is communicate with your customers about the website downtime, letting them know the site is down, to follow you during the outage via social media outlets, and give them an estimate as to when they can expect the site to be back up and running.
How to Make Amends after Website Downtime Occurs
After an episode of extended website downtime has occurred, you need to make amends with your website’s visitors. First and foremost, it is always a good idea to send an apology email to your customer list after your site has experienced extended website downtime. An apology can go a long way in earning the forgiveness and respect of your customers, and it lets your customers know that you take their business and their time seriously.
You can also turn this apology into a rather innovative way to generate sales to make up for any profits your site may have lost during the website outage. Offering a one-day 10-percent or 20-percent discount code, or a coupon for $10 off a $50 purchase or $10 off a $75 dollar purchase, can be a great way to make your customers feel compensated for any inconvenience they may have experienced while generating sales at the same time. What you lose in profit margin, you will likely make up for in quantity of sales and any profit margin is better than no profit margin at all when it comes to making up for lost sales caused by website downtime.
Finding the Silver Lining in Website Downtime
It’s important to find the silver lining in any situation, and even though it may seem like there is no upside to website downtime, you can indeed glean some positive outcomes from the situation. You can use website downtime as an opportunity to show your customers how well you communicate with them, how serious you are about customer service, and that you are willing to take steps to make things right. You can also use it as an opportunity to generate more sales, which can offset some of the cost of the downtime and minimize the effect that the downtime had on your site’s profits.