Building, maintaining, and fostering customer relationships is one of the most important things you can do for your business. But there are some misconceptions on what customers are actually looking for when it comes to forming trust with their favorite brands.
According to a collection of studies from Statista, 96% of consumers say “customer service is an important factor in their choice of loyalty to a brand.” Customer service and loyalty are two major components of customer satisfaction; which, in turn, greatly influences relationship-building between people and brands.
An element of customer service that not enough people talk about is incident management — more specifically, status pages — and how implementing this process into a business model can improve relationships with customers.
In this article, we’ll discuss how status pages improve relationships with customers, why your business needs status pages, how they’re helpful in building trust with customers and improving incident management, and what you should do after you launch and run your status page.
Why Companies Need Status Pages to Improve Relationships with Customers
Status pages are specific web pages designed for IT incident management communication. They’re made to continuously inform and update customers on service outages and internal problems. When an issue is resolved, the status page will make this clear to customers in one way or another, and customers will be able to make a decision from there on how they want to handle interacting with the business after the incident.
It’s safe to say that status pages are extremely important for companies for this exact reason. Customers need a simple, straightforward way to know what’s happening behind the scenes with their favorite brands.
And, when customers receive that info successfully, without delay and without issue, they’re much more likely to trust the brand involved.
This directly influences customer relationships, and the reliability of a brand. It extends far past basic customer service and touches on incident management, which can be a neglected form of communication both internally and externally.
Let’s explore this a little further...
Why Status Pages are Useful for Customers
Status pages not only provide a simple, clear communication method for incident management, but are also prime messaging tools to keep customers updated on when they can expect the platform to be restored.
For example, if you click a link to land on the homepage of a large enterprise company’s website, only to run into a page that tells you systems are down, that’s one way of stumbling across a status page.
As a prospect with a clear goal of visiting this website, you’ll likely want to know important details:
What the incident is in clear detail
The status of the incident
What to expect going forward
Average resolution time
Consistent and reasonably timed status updates
Status pages are designed to communicate all of these factors in a clear, concise, and easily digestible way. In an age of rapid user consumption, companies can’t afford to not have a status page ready.
Customers appreciate accurate status updates, and the more accurate you are in presenting this information on your status page, the more they’ll appreciate it.
How Status Pages Help Companies with Significant IT Infrastructures
A significant IT infrastructure is a combination of hardware, software, facilities, networks, and other associated components that make up a company’s information technology services. Simply put, it’s a web of internal communication technologies that help tech run smoothly in the background so that the surface-level experiences work dependently.
Status pages are directly connected to IT infrastructure performance and updates. After all, status pages are simple ways to communicate issues and problems happening in that core IT infrastructure, and this in turn reflects clearly on customers.
This is extremely important for customer impressions and relationship-building.
By interacting with status pages that explain, in clear detail, what’s happening in the IT infrastructure, it’s much easier for customers to feel vindicated and trusting of that brand.
When installing a status page, make sure the description is clear and easy to absorb for prospects. If you’re using business-side, IT-specific language, it won’t resonate as clearly with just any customer.
A well-performing status page helps communicate issues in the IT infrastructure to the public without the hassle of second-guessing, or reaching out to a team member to explain complex terms.
What Customers Look for in Status Pages
An important aspect of customer relationship-building is focusing on what the customer actually wants from your brand. For status pages, there are specific things that customers are looking for when they land on your webpage.
No matter the state of awareness for customers, there are details related to structure, layout, and communication that they’re expecting from your business.
When it comes to status pages, customers are looking for:
Simple, easily digestible language about the incident;
Maintenance events that say when the system will get down and back up again;
Zero distractions (absence of fancy colors, templates, etc.);
A way to stay updated for future updates (email subscriptions, etc.).
If your status page reflects exactly what customers are looking for, you’re more likely to build a relationship with them just by showing up and addressing their needs.
In this case, “addressing their needs” is simply making sure your status page answers their questions and concerns about your incident, so that you’re making their life easier and your operations run smoother.
What to Do After the Issue is Resolved
For this example, let’s say that your incident is now resolved. Throughout the issues you and your team handled behind the scenes, your end-users were consistently checking into your status page to stay updated and informed on the issue.
It ends up going swimmingly well, and very few questions or concerns are raised to your customer service team or incident management team during the system outage. Your end-users are delighted about how your status page kept them informed. So much so, that your team ends up confident that they can use the same status page service to handle any future incident management communications.
After your issue is resolved—and depending on the scale of the issue—your company can publish an RFO (Reason For Outage) or postmortem (Special Incident Report). It shows you’re dedicated to keeping end-users happy, satisfied, and content with your transparent communications.
You can leverage the effect of status pages just by making sure you’re being consistent with business-to-customer conversations. Thus improving relationships with customers and building your reputation as a brand.
Customer Relationships: Do You Really NEED Status Pages?
The short answer: it would be smart, yes. Without status pages, your end-users and customers are left with less effective methods to keep up on the status and operations of the issue you’re facing, and they won’t have any insight into how you’re handling it.
This lack of transparency can cost you, especially when it comes to fostering relationships with end-users and customers. Without that straightforward line of communication — one that’s clear, digestible, and easy to understand — you’re sacrificing an opportunity to better your reputation and serve your people responsibly.
Of course, there are many ways to build and improve relationships with customers, but few companies understand the impact behind utilizing status pages to do so.
The next time you’re forced into an issue that requires an incident update pay attention to how your end-users react. How are they responding to your status page? Are they reaching out to your team? Are they giving you feedback that you can use to better the overall experience for customer service and IT management?
No matter the incident you’re trying to communicate to your end-users, status pages are useful tools that many companies can use to improve relationships with them.
Make sure you don’t miss out on this less-talked-about opportunity.
To see how status pages can help you improve relationships with customers and end-users for your business, schedule a free demo with StatusHub today.