I didn’t expect my suggestion to be heard, let alone implemented in less than five minutes.
And since I was traveling, I didn’t discover how quickly the company acted on my suggestion until I checked the customer forums late in the evening.
Here’s the story. It all started Saturday morning when I received an alert message that a client website was down.
I went into troubleshooting mode and discovered the client’s web host technical staff had posted the issue on the customer forums just after midnight that morning.
My client’s website was on a server that experienced downtime due to a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack. But there hadn’t been any additional updates on the forums. It was now just before 9:00am, almost nine hours later.
I contacted the web host customer support. “There hasn’t been an update in over eight hours. What’s the latest status? ” I asked.
The customer support person replied there wasn’t any further insight into the issue, other than what was posted on the forum by the technical staff.
I thanked her and asked if the techs could update the forum with status. She replied they would, once they had an update.
“It would be helpful to have an update now as people are waking up this morning to the news that their website is down,” I replied.
“Even if the update is to say, we’re still working on the issue. Alleviates multiple calls and messages from people like me who wonder what is happening.”
She replied that she forwarded my suggestion to her supervisor, and asked if there was anything else she could help me with.
I said no, I’ve been through multiple DDoS attacks on web host servers over the years, and know it’s in the hands of their tech team to bring the server back online.
I thanked her for her help and started getting ready for my day’s activities, wondering how often I would be able to check on the client site. I wouldn’t have Internet access at all the places I was visiting that day.
I left a message for the client, notifying them of the issue with their site, that the web host was working to resolve the issue, and that I was monitoring the situation.
Three hours later, the site still wasn’t coming up. I quickly sent an email to customer support. Any news? I asked. We’re still working on the issue, they replied.
Sigh. This was going to be a long day of checking and monitoring, I thought. In the late afternoon, I saw the site was up. Hurrah!
I quickly contacted the client to let them know their site was back online and enjoyed the rest of the day’s activities with friends and family.
Later that evening I checked the customer forums.
And I saw the updates. I smiled broadly.
What the Company Did
The tech staff had acted on my suggestion, updating the customer forums several times during the day with status updates.
The first update was added within five minutes of my suggestion. It was a quick update:
- Informing customers of the current status
- Explaining what steps were being taken
- Apologizing for the disruption
- Recognizing the importance of getting the sites back online
Two hours later, another status update was posted in the customer forum with additional information about the issue.
Their customer support person listened, shared my suggestion with her supervisor, who passed it on to the technical staff who acted upon it. I’m hoping other customers found the forum status updates helpful. And that the updates helped alleviate the customer support messages to the web host.
Sometimes it’s just a simple act of offering suggestions in a friendly manner. You never know what will happen. And you might be delightfully surprised, like I was.