Downtime: What is it? Inbox

The term “downtime” refers to a period of time when a system, device, or application’s essential functions are not available because of upgrades, maintenance, security measures, or unplanned outages.


Preventing and effectively managing downtime is a key endeavor as people and organizations depend more and more on digital tools and services. Customers now have higher expectations, and even a brief delay (let alone a complete outage) can negatively affect how they interact with a company’s goods. As a result, having a highly accessible product or service has increased in importance in terms of the customer experience.


What distinguishes planned from unplanned downtime?

Usually, downtime falls into one of two categories:


* Planned downtime occurs when a company sets aside a certain amount of time for repairs or upgrades. Brands can notify customers of scheduled downtime using a variety of channels, such as email, text, or pop-up notices on the website, in order to minimize unpleasant experiences.


* Unexpected failures or system compromises as a result of an assault result in unplanned downtime. Depending on where and how they occur, these unanticipated outages frequently result in loud complaints from the user community or significant news coverage. It’s crucial to learn how to handle these circumstances quickly and effectively.


Describe availability.

It’s crucial to highlight the value of availability while discussing downtime. Instead of downtime, a software or service’s availability is calculated as a percentage of the time it is usable. 99.99% uptime is a common goal for technology companies, especially those that work with sensitive data or security measures. They achieve this through a range of techniques, such as numerous availability zones, frequent data backups, and others.


What are the best methods for handling outages?

Whatever the situation, downtimes can be hard for customer service and support teams that interact often with users. It’s crucial to arm them with best practices for handling challenging circumstances because they deal with many of the complaints and issues that customers have.


Among these ideal techniques are:


* Be open and honest. Customers value companies that are honest with their customers and share insights into their experiences and thought processes. It makes them easier to relate to.


* If the outage was not anticipated, admit the problem. As soon as a problem arises, inform your clients. They might stop trusting your brand if they’re experiencing problems utilizing your product and land on a status page that reads, “Everything’s fine!”


* Feel what the customer is going through. You are aware of the motivations behind your customers’ use of your goods and how deeply ingrained your tool or service may be in their daily routines. Be sure to express your understanding of their potential impact and how they may be feeling.


* Where you can, establish expectations. Revert to the first bullet and communicate openly about the issue’s scope when you discover more about the cause of an unanticipated outage. Additionally, let customers know when the problem will be fixed as soon as you can.


* Present substitutes. Provide your clients with solutions so they can use your product without the impacted sections, if at all possible. They’ll be grateful that you put in the extra effort.


Downtime, whether scheduled or unforeseen, can cause problems for your users. Any customer care team’s ability to communicate effectively in these situations is a crucial advantage.

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