Whether you're a service provider or subscriber, a broken connection is an ugly situation. Operators need to shift resources to diagnose and fix the problem. Subscribers must find another way to get back online and continue with their business. And with the proliferation of cloud storage and Internet-based communication platforms, Internet connectivity is now a necessity for many. So when a disruption occurs, the angry calls are guaranteed. As a service provider, you don't want to lose any subscribers, so consider what your customers want to hear when their Internet service goes down.
Admit the Issue Openly
Admitting that there is a technical difficulty is never a good look, but it can save a subscriber from picking up a phone. An alert can be posted as a greeting in the support line or somewhere that's not too hard to find on your website. Chances are, someone who has a data-enabled mobile service will check the website for the support number. The same goes for leveraging your social media platforms to engage and advise customers.
Provide Timely Updates
Take steps to continually update subscribers on the progress. Restoring service is the goal, but the more information that you can provide, the better. This will help subscribers realize that yelling at a customer service representative is not going to speed things up. Try to provide as much as you can. Sugarcoat selectively. Some updates should describe what needs to be done or provide a rough estimate to the restoration of services.
Credit for the Trouble
Big network outage? This may need to fly past a bit of red tape first, but consider a goodwill gesture towards loyal subscribers by crediting them back for the duration of the blackout. Even though you didn't advertise a 99.9% service-level agreement, offering a credit shows that you are serious and want to make it up to your customer base. This may even generate good press towards your organization.
Get Creative with an Apology
Give affected subscribers a temporary speed increase. Enable data during the outage for subscribers with a voice-only mobile service. Hand out an add-on temporarily at no cost. Look for opportunities that can also generate positivity towards the business. After all, your reputation for reliability and dependability may have taken a big hit.
The last thing you want to do when your network goes black is to stay silent while your techs are scrambling to correct course. Dedicate a few resources to public notifications and don't leave your subscribers further in the dark. Remember, disappointed subscribers are a lot more open to switching providers. It may sound like you are giving free ammunition to your competitors, but if done right, goodwill gestures can create loyal customers.
By Andrew Thong, Web Developer at Incognito Software Systems. Incognito Software Systems is a global provider of broadband device provisioning, IP address management, bandwidth monitoring, and service activation solutions.
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