The real cost of communication failure

How you say something as well as when is crucial. In today's landscape, there is a push towards sending people to do as much as possible online, which will creating a better opportunity cost for your customers to perform various functions relating to the service you provide them with, also now means how you treat that service has been escalated in importance.

Make the impossible 'possible' through trust.

When you force people online to carry out activities to interact with your business, you at the same time create an expectation with those same people that the new service is infallible. Unconsciously we've linked the online environments we find ourselves in with trust because of our relationships with social media platforms such as Facebook & Twitter. Marketing on these platforms is far more interactive & immediate in terms of ascertaining feedback & satisfaction than traditional platforms. The dependency in online availability cuts both ways.

As the importance increases on both sides, the service provider must begin to take a greater level of control around communicating accessibility of the service. Tweets like these are becoming more common, & showing that service providers are not stepping up their game:

As a service provider, not only should your customers not be put in a position where they've to tell you that your services are down, but you should be proactively communicating with them throughout the progress of an accessibility affecting issues.

In recent surveys, it has been shown that in the online space anywhere up to 70% of people will simply change to a new service provider where an alternative exists (regardless of cost) because of a bad customer experience. Too often Service Providers rely on the myth that because a customer is using an online service in place of a traditional one that they are less likely to move because of migration pains. It has become a sign of not online laziness & contempt by service providers for their customers, but an opportunity for new players to enter the market to compete on service instead of price.

When a customer leaves you because you couldn't be bothered to communicate with them due to issues with your web service, not only are you looking at losing revenue, but they're more than likely going to take an alternative service & pay more for that service, which means you've now lost twice.

Using services like StillAlive, allows you to proactively mimic the user experience and detect problems before your customers do, while StatusHub allows you to manage the communication of what's happening during any service interruptions with your customers in a pro-active, play-by-play manner so they feel 'important' & are carried during the issue.

Service interruptions happen. We all get that. We all understand that when we take online services that we give up some control of how we are able to get at those services. That's been generally accepted. The one clear thing customers will not or ever accept is poor communication throughout any issues they have. It is the difference between retention & customer satisfaction to lost revenue & subscribers.

People wrongly also assume that down-time has no real cost. It costs you confidence in your service, that means any 'stickiness' you think you have becomes unglued. That's the exact time when people who are looking at costs that need to be cut or revisited start viewing your service in a whole different way. If the advocate in a client business for your service finds you unreliable, they aren't going to fight your corner when the CFO is asking for a service costs review. You go from a service they can't be without to a chopping block item.

However, if you've created a great user and customer experience, the advocate will fight to keep your service in their business because there's an associated real value with real meaning to them. We spend an incredible amount of time focussed on activities such as online marketing, and ticket systems, but we do nothing to address having a concerted communications plan or process in place when something does go wrong, when this will be a difference maker & breaker.

We love StatusHub so much, we use it ourselves for communicating when something invariably goes wrong, or we've maintenance works coming up so our customers can be in the know.

We love this service so much we acquired it as part of our company along with StillAlive and PointDNS because we believe that can help form part of a great end-to-end user experience. And that's what we believe in - being able to create great end-to-end user experiences. It's what we want to make other people passionate about.