Rogers Communications Service Outage Leaves Customers Frustrated

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – when a website or service goes down, you have to communicate with your customers or your reputation is going to take a hit. The recent outage that affected Rogers Communications customers, a leading provider of wireless, digital cable TV, internet and home phone services in Canada, is a perfect example of communication (or lack thereof) frustrating customers during an outage.

This weekend Rogers experienced a widespread, continuous outage of services, affecting both cellular and internet data network services. Rogers is the second-largest internet provider in Canada, so it goes without saying that a large volume of customers were affected. While the outage itself was definitely a problem, it’s the lack of communication that seemed to have the largest impact on how customers felt about the situation.

When Customers Aren’t Happy, They Talk

As Twitter member “visualcreative” stated, “Isn't just rude that Rogers’ website mentions nothing of a massive outage? Very poor.” Twitter member Ryan Emberly was just as frustrated, stating, “Last night I couldn't navigate the Rogers website because it's so flawed. Today, I can't navigate any site because there's a mass Internet outage.” And Twitter wasn’t the only place abuzz with news about the widespread outage. Internet message forums also displayed comments that alluded to the frustrations that customers were experiencing. Comments were popping up such as “Well, Rogers seems to be down. Then up. Then down again. Then up again. And then down again...the pattern goes on” and “Rogers is still down, going on 5 hours now!!”

The outage itself was frustrating enough, but with little to no communication to customers, the situation was made worse.

Maintaining Your Reputation

We live in a day and age where it takes just moments for bad news to travel across the Web – and we all know that the Internet is cut-throat when it comes to competition. If you want to retain customers or clients as well as your reputation, you have to keep them happy. Not communicating with those you aim to serve is not going to win you any points. Fortunately, if you’re an Alertra customer, you know when your website is experiencing an outage or performance issue. When such a thing does happen (and It is indeed not a matter of if, it’s just a matter of when), then you can take steps to communicate with your customers explaining the outage. Whether that means redirecting your site with a temporary message until the outage is over, emailing your customer list with a notice or a combination of both, the important thing is that you do indeed communicate. After all, your customers need to be able to count on you. When something goes wrong, you need to explain the details so they know what is going on, why it’s happening, and when they can expect your site to be back up and running again.

A little bit of communication can go a long way in terms of keeping customers and earning respect and can turn a bad situation into a positive PR experience.