Using a Status Page to Better Communicate with Customers

9th January 2015
The most important thing a status page can do is reach your end user customers through their preferred means of communication, in a timely manner. Instantaneous is usually the speed they’re expecting! A status page that fails to communicate your software application’s status via text message, email, or whatever the end user’s preferred mode of communication may be fails to fulfill its purpose.

Your Status Page: Internal vs. External Audience

There is a second audience to consider communicating application downtime to as well – internal stakeholders. These are your support, executive, and any other customer-facing teams. These are the folks who are going to create a second crisis, a communications crisis, if they aren’t equipped with the right messaging, and who are likely to slow down “as quickly as possible” by distracting IT with rapid, endless requests for a status update. How can you communicate most effectively with both this audience and your end users?

Internal communications are most easily handled through a corporate portal or email. These communications should include instructions for how to talk about the progress on the application issue with customers/end users. “Broadcasting” updates to either of these communication mediums can be easily accomplished through your status page tool.

Using your status page software to communicate with customers is just as straightforward. Create premade messages that will go out via SMS text, email, Google calendar, etc. or that are installed on a page on your own website via a widget. You can even set preferences as to whether you’d prefer real-time communication or you’d prefer to have someone review and edit the communication before it goes out.

A Few Basic Considerations When Setting Up a Status Page

Use your status page tool to create a few premade messages, covering anticipated maintenance periods, unexpected outages, disruptions in typical performance and informational messages that would be appropriate to share with end users who have opted into notifications from your status page.

You’ll want to make sure to have the marketing team supply whatever art you’d like to use to ensure the page is consistent with the rest of your company’s brand. Though it’s a page about technical updates, the status page is meant to be customer-friendly.

You might also distinguish service components in a way that addresses specific geographic regions, application layers or business components, so each end user better understands what the disruption means for them.
A status page increases efficiency for your IT team and creates more and better opportunities to smooth over a potentially negative customer experience with your customers. You can read more about the cost of downtime here.

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