Informing Customers of an Outage Before Your Site Goes Down

We’ve talked a lot about what to do when your site goes down unexpectedly. Communication is key, as we’ve mentioned quite a few times in the past. However, there are also times when your site will go down due to planned maintenance or upgrades. You know about these website outages, but do your customers? Communicating these outages is crucial to customer satisfaction. The question is, will notification of the planned outage on your website be enough?

Following the Lead of NewBridge Bank

There is an age-old question – if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it really make a sound? The question can be applied to a notice on your website as well. If a visitor isn’t there to see a message you post, does it really do any good? What if the visitor wasn’t at your site while the message was posted and they decide to make a stop during your planned outage? What good will the advanced notice do?

While putting a notice on your site is definitely a good idea when it comes to planned outages and downtime, you can go even further by notifying customers using other methods. The example set by NewBridge Bank last week is a perfect example.

NewBridge Bank made the announcement via Twitter that their site would be down due to planned maintenance. The tweet stated, “Temporary Service Outage: We'll perform maintenance on our website tonight from 10P to 2A. Visit facebook for more info.” Not only did customers know how long the site would be down thanks to this Tweet, they knew exactly where to go for more info.

If you’re going to be planning some website downtime, whatever the reason may be, make sure your customers know about it. A message on your site is definitely a good start, but in the grand scheme of things it may not be enough.