Sharing SaaS Application Uptime via Status Page for Customer Success

22nd July 2015

It’s all about SaaS–even in your home.(or subscription-based offerings, if not software).

From jumpstarting growth to reducing churn to growth milestones, all built from experience, readily-accessible SaaS tips make it even easier for would-be innovators to keep themselves on the right trajectory.

As one SaaS writer from Andreessen Horowitz put it, the key is customer success and ROI:
“Mass SaaS is merely a logical step in a world where our subscription and delivery behaviors are all facilitated by the smartphone. But integrating SaaS into a consumer business isn’t a magic bullet; businesses will face challenges as they still need to constantly improve products, operations, and overall offerings. Customer acquisition is important of course, but as all good enterprise SaaS founders know, customer success becomes the top priority because it’s significantly easier to retain a customer than to acquire a new one. Likewise, customers still need to feel they’re getting a positive return on their investment. Otherwise, they’ll churn. Period.”

SaaS Application Uptime, APM, and the Downtime Problem

SaaS application uptime is obviously a critical element of customer success and perceived ROI—if they can’t use your application, that’s a major problem (but not without mitigation, see Status Pages section below). Application performance management (APM) is the best tool to prevent application downtime.

While it used to be that APM was a cumbersome process that happened after the fact and itself actually negatively impacted application performance due to the system resources it required, APM has since gotten sophisticated and lightweight enough to be almost predictive and can run concurrently with code being deployed without a major impact on application performance.

But even with modern APM technology, there are regularly reports about how much money SaaS companies lose each year due to application downtime, much of it due to reputation damage with their customers.

Application status pages are an affordable way to address this reputation problem.

Status Pages, Reputation, and the Trust/Reliability Solution

While the real-time information your IT or DevOps teams gets from your APM is useful to them, it can also go a long way towards demonstrating ROI to customers.

By using a status page to keep your customers in the loop about when your software is down (for scheduled maintenance or due to unexpected issues) and when it’s back up again, you’re demonstrating transparency and accountability.

By sharing your historical SaaS application uptime (both when there is recent/imminent downtime and when there is not), you’re reminding your customers that disruptions are rare.

This does not change the fact that there was a disruption, but it does help recontextualize it in the bigger picture of the customer’s growing relationship with you as a trusted provider.

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