Website Downtime: It Isn’t Just a Technical Issue

When it comes to website downtime, it is important to understand that the issue is as much of a public relations issue as it is a technical issue. The way in which you handle your website’s downtime has a significant effect on how the downtime affects the public’s perception of your online business. While downtime is sometimes unavoidable, handling the downtime properly can mean the difference between lost customers or increased customer loyalty. If you want to minimize the damage your website downtime does to your site’s image, keep the following tips in mind.

Always Be the First to Know
If a customer is the one who has to notify you of the downtime or if it takes you hours to realize your site has gone offline, it’s not going to make a good impression. When downtime occurs, you need to be the first to know. That means having quality website monitoring in place. When you enlist the help of a quality website monitoring service, you ensure that you are the first to know the moment your site goes down and not a minute later. That means you can get to work on not only the technical aspects of your site’s downtime, but the PR aspects as well.

Notify Your Customers
If your site is down you want your customers to know that you are aware of the problem and that you are working to correct it. That means displaying an error message on your site that explains your site has experienced a glitch and that you are working to get the site back online as quickly as possible. The message can be professional or humorous, whatever fits with your brand’s image, as long as you make the message clear – you know about the downtime and you are working on it.

Put a Spin on It
How can website downtime lead to increased sales? When you offer customers a coupon code with a discount to apologize for the downtime after it happens. Your customers know that you are truly sorry for the inconvenience that the downtime may have caused them, and will appreciate the gesture that the discount offers. In addition, when customers decide to make a purchase because of that coupon, your site will experience increased sales that can help make up for the profit losses the downtime caused your company to incur.

Plan Ahead
When it comes to website downtime, it is important to always put your best foot forward, remembering that the downtime is as much a PR issue as it is a technical one. Always have plans in place. These plans should not only include how to get your site up and running again as quickly as possible, but should also plan for how you will keep your customers informed and how to compensate them for the downtime when it does happen. This will ensure that any downtime that does occur does minimal damage to your company’s reputation.