Let’s face it – in business, a partial downtime is normal from time to time. These are normal occurrences, and they shouldn’t have a huge impact on business operations if you respond promptly. However, when your network comes to a complete halt, that’s bad news for any company.
It means your business operations will stop completely, resulting in no productivity. Thereafter, there will be service disruptions. In the worst-case scenario, your data might even get breached due to a vulnerable security system caused by downtime. All these outcomes can impact your reputation negatively. And we don’t have to remind you that the most critical asset in your business is your reputation.
If you don’t work to restore your reputation, then you will have a hard time earning the trust of prospective customers and convincing them to try your products. If things get to the point where they’re questioning your reputation, loyal customers might also decide to take their money elsewhere. In other words, not only will you have a hard time generating sales, but you’re also likely to lose money as clients leave.
Luckily, you can contain the effects of downtime on your reputation if you have a robust plan in place. For instance, an IT service can be resourceful, especially when combined with other powerful solutions. Without further ado, here are a few ways to repair your reputation after a downtime:
Keep Things Transparent
Clients often gravitate more to businesses that are transparent than those that are not. As such, trying to hide the fact that you’ve had a downtime or disguise its effects is not a good idea. Instead of protecting your business reputation, you might actually be damaging it further.
Of course, you might think that the clients don’t need access to information on whatever is going on in your network. However, when they experience the effect of downtime, they will need answers. Failure to give them these answers will only leave them questioning your integrity. For this reason, the best approach is to be straightforward with them.
During a crisis of this kind, the worst thing you can do is stay quiet. Not saying something can make your clients assume the worst about your service delivery as a company.
When clients are uncertain about you, it’s easier for your competitors to convince them to jump ship. This is actually a very easy way to lose even the most loyal clients.
Rather than leave clients in the dark, demonstrate goodwill by enlightening them on what’s going on. Doing so will help you to recover your brand’s reputation faster.
Downtime doesn’t just affect your business operations, but also the customer experience. If the downtime is drawn out, then some of these customers will get angry and frustrated. In this way, what seems like a small setback can push clients to leave your business and start exploring competing businesses.
However, by acting quickly, you can still recover some of these customers. And what better way is there to bring customers back than offering incentives? Offering coupon codes for a limited period will increase the chances of your former clients coming back. Coupon codes may also get the attention of potential clients who may wish to leverage this new opportunity.
Besides improving your reputation, these incentives can generate more sales for your business. This is exactly what you need to recover from these losses.
Having one downtime doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. On the contrary, you need to keep in mind that this is something that can easily happen again in the future. As such, you should put a plan in place to cushion your business against future downtime. If it’s possible, you should develop a system that’s resistant to downtime occurrences.
Start by analyzing the cause of the downtime. Was it because of a system failure or is it that your hosting plan cannot support your traffic anymore? If an upgrade can help strengthen your network and prevent downtime, plan to implement this upgrade. You can even track your traffic to ensure it doesn’t exceed the capability of your hosting plan.
A simple apology to the public means a lot. The word “sorry” bears significant weight. Even so, you can’t just leave people with empty words – you need to convince them that you are actually sorry. If you want to evoke a positive response from the public, then your apology must sound sincere.
On that note, avoid making any apology statements that come with a justification. For instance, you shouldn’t say, “My apologies if you feel offended…”. Suggesting that this wouldn’t have happened if your customers took a specific action won’t fly either. Don’t even dare suggest that you had done everything you could, and you don’t understand why this happened. Gaining a reputation for being apologetic is better than sounding unrepentant.
In some cases, you might actually not be at fault. However, owning the mistake on behalf of your company and apologizing for it can help calm customers down. Mastering the art of offering a sincere apology will help you overcome even the most difficult crises. Ultimately, apologizing proves that you can be trusted to take accountability for issues that affect your customers.
After a downtime crisis, the last thing your consumers want to hear is a string of excuses. Rather, they are waiting for you to communicate the next steps. Regardless of the cause of the downtime, you need to accept the responsibility as a company or business. Let’s face it, we all detest working with people who can’t own up to their mistakes. It’s even harder to work with people who blame others for their failure instead of taking personal responsibility.
Therefore, if you want to heal the broken relationship and rebuild trust with your clients, learn how to admit when you’ve made a mistake. Similarly, it’s important to be able to acknowledge when there was an oversight on your end. Beyond that, you need to tell the public what you are doing to resolve the issue. Moreover, you should communicate the steps you are taking to minimize the potential damage of any downtime that might occur in the future.
Go the Extra Mile
While taking responsibility and apologizing can help minimize the damage, that’s not all you should do. You still have a lot to do to repair your reputation. In this case, going the extra mile in whatever you do at the company can help. People are bound to recognize an excellent job and commend it. When you go above and beyond for your customers, they will have an easier time forgetting what went wrong. If you want to rebuild trust with your customers, it’s really important to create positive experiences for them.
Move on and Leave the Failure Behind
After doing all you can to mend your brand’s reputation, you should consider moving on. Living in the past can sometimes cause you to lose potential opportunities, even when they are right in front of you. Instead, you should avoid letting regret hold you back. In order to move on, you should focus on working extra hard to build a new and better future for your business. It doesn’t matter how hard the downtime hit your brand – what’s important is how you respond and if you can find ways to make the necessary improvements.
Remember, changing the perception of clients or the public doesn’t happen instantly. It’s a process that takes time. Even when you’re dealing with what seems like a simple failure, some people may struggle to look past this negative event and forgive your brand. The key to a successful future after downtime is revealing your hidden potential. And if the media brings your failure up once in a while, avoid getting too emotional. Instead, demonstrate your willingness to talk about it and explain the improvements you’ve made since.
Oftentimes, downtimes are a result of technical glitches. Even though you may have an in-house technical team, the problem can be beyond their capabilities. If this is the case, then you can consider outsourcing IT support services. IT professionals have the experience to detect the source of the problem and solve it instantly. As such, you can restore your network’s normal operations instantly. And the faster you correct the problem the less damaging the effect on your brand reputation will be.
Just because your business has experienced downtime doesn’t mean it’s the end. Responsive measures like outsourcing IT services can help you restore your network’s former glory. And with the right plan, you can even leverage downtime as an opportunity to create a powerful reputation.
Simply use the downtime and uptime data to create a story that highlights your new security features. If the clients notice a change or improvement, they’re bound to come back. While you may not get all of them back, you will also acquire some new ones. If you can’t do all of this on your own, reach out to Executech.