An outage yesterday from one of the nation’s largest cable providers had a lot of folks hurting. Voice and data went down, so hoards of people were disconnected and businesses were literally dead in the water.
Some things we can take away from this:
1. It’s a good idea for businesses to have redundant connectivity. If you host things in a data center, they’ll have redundant connections for you. But if you manage your own connectivity and hardware you should have a second internet connection for days like yesterday. For that one day each year that your internet and phone lines go down, your backup connection will probably pay for itself.
2. Is any press still good press? Social media has changed customer service. In the past, customers were limited in their ability to express outrage or call foul on poor service. Yesterday’s outage provides an excellent case study of how customer service has had to change because of social media. Users can tell the entire world their honest opinions about their service.
3. If you’re in a customer service business, it’s a good idea to monitor social media to see what people are saying about you. Google Alerts is a great tool for this.
Granted, social media service and monitoring won’t fix everything, but they’ll help – and you never know what people are saying about you until you join the conversation.