Nobody’s perfect, and even the most reliable Software as a Service (SaaS) providers may occasionally experience glitches and downtime. But that’s not necessarily a deal breaker, depending on how the SaaS vendor deals with the issue.
Jeff Mason, co-founder of online content personalization vendor Decisionaire addressed the issue in a recent Firmology article, “Reputation Management Tips for SaaS Vendors.” A long-time marketing professional, Jeff focused on maintaining the organization’s brand reputation, not just the technical issue:
“Application uptime is often the responsibility of IT professionals, whereas reputation management and brand building is the responsibility of marketing. Information technology folks don’t get fired if their company’s brand is destroyed – marketing people do.”
Marketers know that communicating about an outage to end users is very different than working with IT professionals – and each requires the right “tool.” For Mason, the combination of New Relic and Uptime.ly is a great example of leveraging the right tools for the job.
For more information on integrating New Relic and Uptime.ly, check out our Connect with Uptime.ly page.
Mason distills the rules of dealing with outages into three simple rules:
- Develop a Trusting Relationship With Your Clients. To be trusted, you must be transparent. This means open and honest communication with your clients. It also means accepting responsibility when you are at fault and offering a remedy to the situation, or at least some type of compensation for inconveniencing your users. Uptime.ly can help you easily determine if the Service Level Agreement has been met and help you calculate a fair value.
- Be Proactive and Show That You Care. Proactively reach out to your clients and inform them of an issue or of any scheduled downtime your application might experience. Explain that you understand how the issue will affect your clients and provide a clear path for how, and when, the issue will be resolved…
- Be Efficient and Productive. When an outage occurs, things can be hectic. Attempting to get timely updates from IT will be difficult and then crafting an appropriate communication to your clients and making it available via a variety of communication mechanisms will be a pain. You can integrate applications such as Uptime.ly with the systems that IT uses to manage application availability, such as New Relic, so you don’t have to bother them for constant status updates and you can craft an application status page specifically for application end users, not internal IT people…
Not surprisingly, at New Relic, we’re especially focused on Tip #3. We believe it’s essential to have the right combination of tools to effectively manage brand reputation during an outage or other service hiccup. As Mason points out, you need to “take control of the situation – your job may depend on it.” Leveraging the right combination of “tools” can go a long way towards helping you to keep your job even during times of crisis.