This week we feature an article by Andrian Valeanu, Founder & Editor-in-chief of Design Modo, a company that helps brands create websites and email newsletters so they can focus on running their business. He shares how a website’s status page can help keep customers informed and improve their overall experience with a brand. Did you […]
This week we feature an article by Andrian Valeanu, Founder & Editor-in-chief of Design Modo, a company that helps brands create websites and email newsletters so they can focus on running their business. He shares how a website’s status page can help keep customers informed and improve their overall experience with a brand.
Did you know that the average manufacturer experiences more than 15 hours of downtime per week, whereas small websites and services are out of the game from five hours to almost several days in a year? According to Forbes, downtime, which is an unavoidable event since uncontrollable factors like human errors, imperfections of hardware, or natural disasters cause it, has become an actual problem for digital businesses around the World.
The deal is that customers are unwilling to waste their precious time on web platforms that are down because their standards and expectations are high. However, they are ready to wait if the website provides an excellent customer experience and keeps them in the loop during the outage. And there is a time-proven solution for that – the status page.
Let us look at the status page concept and its hidden potential for securing clients’ base and improving customer experience during downtime.
A status page is a tool to communicate incidents that happened in the backend of the web platform. At the core, it is just a regular HTML/CSS web page. However, it is synced with monitoring and tracking snippets and tools. Therefore, its content is dynamic and displays the current state of the system every single minute.
Status pages fall into two general categories:
Both these pages are crucial elements of the incident management process. They deliver necessary data about the current system’s health and scheduled maintenance to the visitors and company’s departments in time. Plus, they include additional tools like a subscription form or direct chat with the support team to eliminate all possible concerns and immediately address apparent issues.
Status pages have a huge potential to improve customer experience. They are dark horses of all successful companies, not for nothing. Let’s consider ways of how they do that.
As banal as it may sound, keeping customers informed is a time-tested way to improve customer experience.
With a well-thought-out approach, the deal is that a public status page can be turned into a treasure trove of information. It may include every aspect of the system’s current operational state, from the health status of individual parts of the infrastructure to the history of incidents to active chat with the support team.
While for readers of blogs or online magazines, such quality does not seem so special, when it comes to customers whose businesses largely depend on the reliability of third-party services like payment systems, booking APIs, server and hosting providers, this comes of enormous importance.
By staying informed all the time, those customers can single out the problem and ipso facto avoid conundrums with their respective clients and visitors. On top of that, they may take some actions to keep clients in the loop by providing an apologetic discount or offer right in time.
Therefore, providing total situational awareness considers a feature of a one-of-a-kind customer experience. If you can bring it to life, you will certainly improve your overall customer experience.
Let us be honest; even if our business depends on third-party services, we are too busy to check them out every minute to ensure everything is fine. We appreciate being notified when something has happened and not wasting our precious time in vain.
In fact, being notified even about issues with our beloved digital magazines and blogs make us feel great. To be more precise, according to Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, it makes us feel important and satisfies our inner esteem needs of prestige.
All successful companies know about these users’ expectations and needs. Therefore, they notify them why the system failed and when it happened and keep them posted during the incident management process.
Being notified in time is an indicator of excellent customer experience. Therefore, if you still do not have a status page with a subscription form to keep users updated on resolution progress or inform them when something has happened, you should undoubtedly add one since it will considerably improve the customer experience.
One of the features of the status page is that it communicates information about the scheduled maintenance that happens quite often in third-party systems like servers and hosting providers. This helps users plan their time correctly, maximize interactions with the system, and avoid wasting their precious time on idling and procrastination.
The most significant advantage of creating public status pages is that it answers the burning issue, calms down the digital crowd, and eases frustration. This reduces the number of customer support queries and customer complaints that distract the team’s attention from resolving the problem.
The absence of a continuous flow of requests allows the company’s departments to do their job quickly and more efficiently, regaining the system and bringing the web platform back on track in a short time.
Plus, when the support team is not distracted by already-known issues, they can deal with other requests and provide high-quality support across various verticals, thereby improving the overall customer experience with the platform.
With status pages paired with tracking software, dev teams get complete control of the situation. They choose what information to display, how to communicate incidents, what users reach through alternative distribution channels like email, Twitter, or even TikTok, and how to win time without killing the mood.
With complete control over the situation, the dev team gets an excellent opportunity to avoid other incidents caused by the outage and provide alternative solutions for users just in time, thereby reinforcing the overall customer experience.
Linked to monitoring and tracking devices, the private status page provides the dev team with all crucial technical data to start the incident management process as early as possible and sort out the issue before it escalates.
Moreover, the team might learn more about incident frequency, develop a reusable solution that helps minimize drastic outcomes of outages, and, most importantly, secure a helpful and friendly customer service experience that is the number one strategy of all successful companies.
Last but not least. We have been chiefly discussing the technical side of improving customer experience; however, what about the psychological aspect? As it turned out, a clever status page can also satisfy the psychological needs of customers by making them feel included. And people want that since it is our natural desire to be a part of the process even though there is nothing we can do.
Providing a status page with all sorts of helpful information (such as the system’s current health, details about the incident, and most importantly, resolution progress), the company satisfies this psychological need and triggers a long-lasting positive emotional response. Plus, the company proves its care and commitment to the clients. All this takes customer experience to an entirely new level.
Status pages are powerful instruments in the incident management process. They provide the support team with all crucial information to address the issue in time, and most importantly, they improve the customer experience from various perspectives, including technical and psychological aspects.
Andrian Valeanu is a web designer and indie maker. He is the Founder & Editor-in-chief of Design Modo. His interests include information technologies, web design, and email marketing.
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.
Read Shep’s latest Forbes article: Customer Service The Marriott Way
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