Even Amazon.com Goes Down

Every website experiences downtime. When it’s your site that is down, it can be hard to remember that you’re not the only one who goes through the frustration and stress of downtime. It’s important to remember that even Internet giants like Amazon.com do go down on occasion. Many of us remember the issue that Amazon was having with their cloud servers last month. Now it seems like their website was experiencing intermittent regional downtime late last week. The question is, why was it happening and how did customers feel about it? The answer to that question seems to elude even the major news networks.

When a Giant Goes Down

When an Internet giant experiences downtime, everyone knows about it. Even NBC News commented on the site’s Internet outage, trying to get to the bottom of the problem. What info were they able to glean? Not much, it would seem. The NBC site stated, “We've reached out to the folks at Amazon to see what happened and will update when we know more.” Updates weren’t forthcoming.

Apparently Amazon wasn’t ready to divulge exactly what had happened to make their site unavailable to some users and there wasn’t much communication in terms of what had happened or how the site got back up and running. This may have left some Amazon customers with a bad taste in their mouths.

Too Big to Communicate?

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – when your site experiences downtime it’s crucial that you communicate with your customers. Communication can literally turn a nightmare scenario into an excellent PR opportunity, letting customers know that you care about them and are willing to be transparent about any technical difficulties your site may be having.

Granted, your site may not be as big as Amazon.com and an outage may not warrant the attention of NBC News, but chances are that your customers will take note of it. How you respond to such events will speak volumes about your level of commitment to customer satisfaction.

If Alertra notifies you of a site outage, make sure you communicate the reasons for the outage with your customer base and let them know what is being done to correct the issue. Anything less will leave your customers with the impression that you feel as though you don’t need to communicate with them when such issues occur.