In “Dealing with Cloud Downtime Pt. 2” we covered how consumers should deal with Cloud hosting downtime. In the final chapter of “Dealing with Cloud Downtime” we are going to cover how providers should deal with downtime and what their response says about their team.
1. Acknowledge the Problem
Without question, the first step a provider needs to take when their service is impacted by downtime is to publically acknowledge the problem. The web hosting community are rabid. They are a community who lives online. They are a community who are not afraid to voice their concerns or trash your brand all across the Internet in various Cloud computing forums like WebHostingTalk. Due to this, before your consumers can kill you on Twitter, it is the Cloud provider’s job to put out a statement through social media alerting consumers to downtime.
The statement should be simple. Acknowledge the problem. State when downtime began. Reassure consumers that Cloud engineers are on site working to resolve the issue.
2. Provide Timely Updates
Downtime is money. Downtime means consumers are losing traffic. Losing traffic means losing business. Losing business means losing reputations. After the initial acknowledgement of downtime, a Cloud hosting provider needs to make it their job to provide timely updates as to the status of service downtime. Status updates should include a short description of where the issue currently stands and the appropriate avenue where customers should direct their questions and concerns to (Email, Ticket System, Social, Phones etc.).
For as long as the problem persists, be it ten minutes or three hours, it is up to the provider to alert consumers to the status of downtime. Remember, many of your Cloud hosting consumers rely on their ecommerce platform to make money. Every minute your solutions are down, they are losing money.
3. Release the Cause
Once the problem has been fixed and services return to normal, it is up to every Cloud hosting provider to release a detailed report as to why downtime occurred. This is done to let your consumers know that your team discovered the root cause and will be working to ensure downtime caused by a similar problem never takes place again. Most consumers can understand that downtime happens once in a blue moon. Yet, those same consumers won’t be happy if downtime occurs due to the same issue multiple times. Release the cause and fix it.
4. Provide Credits and More
Your consumers rely on your Cloud infrastructure for their solution uptime. If you say your service will provide 99.99% uptime, you better provide it. The minute you fall under your SLA uptime agreement, it is up to you to provide consumers with the SLA credits and compensation they deserve. This said, Cloud hosting companies also need to understand SLA credits won’t cure the pain for most. While supplying consumers with an equal monetary value to equal downtime is a start, consumers are going to want more. Impacted consumers, certainly those who spend a pretty penny on Cloud services, will want to be cuddled and soothed. Do whatever it takes to calm your marquee clients. SLA credits might be good for the $5 per month server consumer but it won’t be enough for the $10,000 per month consumer.
5. Run a Wicked Promotion
This one is simple. To sure up impacted customers, to bring back customers who left due to downtime and/or to bring in new Cloud hosting customers, run an excellent promotion. Whatever that promotion is, we leave to you. But run a killer promotion. Trust us, the market and your wallet will love it.
To check out the first two parts of the QuoteColo “Dealing with Cloud Downtime” series, click the following links:
Dealing with Cloud Downtime Pt. 1
Dealing with Cloud Downtime Pt. 2