Experiencing a site outage can wreak havoc on your brand reputation – but it doesn’t have to. You can minimize the negative consequences of an incident and even build rapport with your customers by following best practices for outage communication.
Here are some outage communication best practices and status page templates to keep top of mind, so you can move quickly to tell your customers about a problem and win over their trust as you resolve it.
Outage communication is essential to providing customer care when something goes wrong with your website or product. It’s also a good strategy to empower your team to react quickly.
Here are some reasons why outage communication is important:
As you create a status page, choose one that’s both easy to understand and beautiful to look at. For example, Instatus offers gorgeous status pages at low rates.
Customers value transparency over empty promises. As you get in touch with your users, you can build trust with them by following these best practices for outage communication.
Your team should have a well-defined plan and pre-filled templates ready to go in case of any incident.
Don’t try to hide information from your customers. Customers prefer to know the truth of what’s going on, even if the situation isn’t great.
Update constantly when you have new information from your tech team. Your customers will appreciate these on-the-ground details.
If possible, try to offer workarounds so that customers can go about their business. This may include alternative ways to complete transactions, such as using the mobile version.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes when communicating. Showing empathy can lead to building customer relationships instead of burning bridges.
Whatever you do, don’t promise that service will be restored at a certain time if you’re not sure. Be transparent and clear, without overpromising. In addition, don’t blame others for the outage, as customers will think you’re shirking responsibility.
Adding a GIF to a Tweet or email can be a nice way to lighten the mood, but be cautious about using them. Only include a touch of personality when it doesn’t detract from your brand’s professionality.
No matter what, always include a link to your status page. By choosing an attractive status page like Instatus, you can maintain your brand reputation even during an incident.
As part of your outage communication toolkit, you should put together status page templates according to the type of incident you’re facing. (For real-life examples of service interruption notices, be sure to check out our favorites here.)
When customers are contacting you with technical difficulties, but you haven’t yet confirmed the problem, you should communicate the potential incident. Here’s an example of an outage notification template to use.
Headline: Some customers experiencing problems with [affected area/product], investigation underway
At the moment, some customers may have difficulty using [affected area/product]. Our team is actively investigating the incident and will update you with more details as we have them.
At [company name], we’re committed to providing the best possible service and are working tirelessly to resolve this incident. Check out our status page for the most up-to-date information: [Instatus link]
During an unexpected outage, it’s especially important to react quickly and notify customers of the incident. Be as clear and concise as possible when communicating a full outage.
Headline: [Product/website/system] temporarily down
We’re currently experiencing a service outage for our [product/website/system]. Our team is actively working on resolving the issue. We believe the interruption is due to [reason] and IT experts are working tirelessly to restore service as quickly as possible.
At [company name], we pride ourselves on providing great service and apologize for any inconvenience this service outage has caused. Though we will update you with more details as we have them, you can check out our status page for the most up-to-date information: [Instatus link]
Ideally, you can notify customers about scheduled maintenance before it happens. Customers appreciate the heads-up and will see your brand in a more positive light. Here’s a good template for scheduled maintenance:
Headline: Scheduled maintenance planned for [time]
Please note that our [product/website/system] will be unavailable from [time] to [time]. This update is to ensure that [reason]. During this time, you won’t be able to use [affected area/product].
As soon as our scheduled maintenance is complete, we will send you an update. Until then, you can get the most up-to-date information on our status page: [Instatus link]
When you’re dealing with an active incident, you don’t have time to write the ideal status page copy. By having templates ready to go, you can ensure that your status page is the #1 source of truth during an outage. In this way your customers will get up-to-date details on the incident by simply clicking on your link.
As you put together your outage communication plan, don’t forget to create a beautiful and professional status page using Instatus. Instatus lets your brand build rapport with customers during incidents by providing transparent, real-time updates.
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