Websites Aren’t the Only Thing to Go Down When a Server Outage Occurs

It seems that Fasthosts has been experiencing some significant issues with downtime today. The company, based in the UK, provides web hosting and email services. It appears that their servers experienced an outage yesterday, wreaking havoc on customers’ ability to operate their businesses. While sites did go down, email went down as well. This made it impossible for the customers of Fasthosts to properly communicate with their own customers if they used Fasthosts email services for business. Needless to say, the social media community was abuzz.

The Good and the Bad

While the outage has definitely been frustrating Fasthosts customers, we do have to give the company credit for utilizing social media platforms like Twitter to communicate with their market. As we saw in one Fasthosts post, the company stated, “Just a quick reminder that we are responding to individual tweets via @FHTechTeam. We're trying to keep this feed clear for major updates.” This means that in addition to posting general updates via Twitter, the company is also responding to individual tweets regarding the issue. This is a clear example of how a business should communicate with their customer base when something goes wrong.

However, some members of the social media community do not seem all that impressed with Fasthosts’ efforts to communicate properly (even though we think they are taking proper steps to keep customers updated). As one Twitter member, Alex Brown, stated, “Latest email outage + lack of accurate problem updates exemplifies why they're not to be used for anything important.” It seems that no matter how hard you try, there are times when you just can’t please everybody.

The Sharks in the Social Media Pond

We’ve suggested before that it is a good idea to communicate with your customers using the available social media outlets when your site and/or services go down. We have mentioned that it can help you maintain your company’s reputation and that proper communication is a show of exemplary customer service and good faith. However, we should probably also add that in the ocean that is social media, there will always be sharks.

No matter how hard you try to please some customers, there just is no way to make them happy 100 percent of the time. If you do everything you can to communicate with your customers and one or two still complain, don’t assume your reputation is taking a beating. Take it with a grain of salt. If you’re doing what you’re supposed to do in terms of communication, then you can rest assured knowing that most of your customers will indeed appreciate your efforts, even if some do not.