Most offline businesses have online presence whilst other businesses run on the internet but have physical offices. Every online business is hosted on a server and guess what servers can crash and can take down your business site can go down with the fall.
There are instances in the past where huge hosting companies experience server outages and take down thousands of businesses with them. Every online business is prone to server outages, but most hosting services do their best to rectify issues as soon as they happen.
When your business site goes down, it can affect your reputation as a business, you could loose significant profits- imagine a site like Amazon.com going down, customer satisfaction drops especially for eCommerce businesses, your search engine rankings will suffer if your site is down for too long.
In case of disruption, it’s your duty to quickly respond and fix whatever problem your site may be facing. The following are a few of the right steps you should take when your own business site goes down.
1. Remain calm before you cause more harm
Chill out! it’s not the end of the world yet! There is always hope. Get in touch with your technical team. They may have identified that already if they are constantly on the look out for problems that may arise.
You can focus better and resolve crash issues faster and quicker if you are in a perfect state of mind. You could cause more harm when you start changing what should not be modified. If it’s just your business laptop or your local network acting up, you don’t want to start alerting customers just yet!
2. Find out the possible cause immediately.
A programming error on your business site could be the cause of the problem, A DNS problem, or an expired domain is also a probable cause, it could be a networking problem or the hosting server may have crashed . Your technical support team should be able to find it immediately and start working on a solution as soon as possible.
3. Could it be your internet service provider?
If your business site is failing, then visit authority sites like nytimes.com or bbc.co.uk. If they fail too, then there is at least an issue with your own broadband connection.Internet service cannot be compromised for businesses.
Your broadband service should not interfere with your business process, you should rather be concentrating on doing business. Learn more about bt broadband if you intend to switch to another internet provider.
4. Communication is key, start talking!
Customer service should start communicating with customers on every platform necessary. Put together a simple and brief notice to inform customers, vendors, investors and partners of the outage. Start getting the message on social media before customers start talking about how bad your service is in recent hours.
Go to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, Google+ etc to connect with customers. Assure them your are aware of the situation and doing every possible to get back on track immediately. Give them information on how to contact and still do business with you while your site is down
Consider reaching out to established and repeat customers personally to assure them their business is safe with you and that you will be online as soon as possible. Trust and credibility are key in the age of choice. You don’t want your customers to start rushing to your competitors.
5. Make that emergency call to your hosting providers
Even though an outage isn’t always about a server problem at the hosting provider you should call your hosting provider right away to inform them about the situation. Most great providers will immediately start looking into it if they have good customer service.
It could be that a traffic spike has caused your site to fall down; this is common when a website suddenly receives an unexpected boost to traffic or the usual server crash problem. They could also help if it’s programming error from your site.
Just let them know as soon as possible. If your provider cannot get back to you in the next few minutes when this happens, consider switching to a new provider. Customer service is key to selecting a hosting provider.
And of course, it’s possible your hosting company is having technical difficulties themselves. Visit their website or get in touch directly to confirm this suspicion.
Are there any other steps business owners need to take when their site goes down?