OOB customer communications (Re: Looking for Support Contact at Equifax)

William McCall william.mccall at gmail.com
Mon Apr 27 13:48:51 CDT 2009

On Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 12:13 PM, Mike Lewinski <mike at rockynet.com> wrote:

> But useless if the customer's data connection is down and their local cell
> phones are the only remaining method of communication.
> If 25% of our users would check their twitter feed first and let their boss
> know "They are aware of the problem and this is the ETR", that means the
> other 75% who are trying to call have less competition getting that same
> update from a human (or our auto-attendant).
> Cellphones can still receive data and websites. You can use an alternate
service that provides SMS functionality without having to have it in a
public forum. This still allows you to maintain control of who is seeing it
without trying to figure out which customer BigDaddyPimpin is on Twitter.
Depending on your situation, you really might not want all of those outage
updates to become someone else's information. If you don't have much
competition against your business model, it might make sense to provide
this. If you have competitors ranging from sleazy snake oil to overpriced
big name, this data becomes a good source of your operations for your
competitors to use in whatever way they like.

> We're never going to tweet every down T1 because those are easy to manage
> the customer contacts for and also not of interest to 99% of our customers.
> I'm really only talking about the outages that would affect the majority of
> customers where proactive notification isn't feasible (by the time you've
> made it 10% through your list, you've already received calls from 95% of the
> people who want such notifications anyway because they all called at the
> same time, right when it stopped working...).
> Mike
> Proactive notifications can and are tailored to meet individual SP needs.
If I'm providing circuits, my customers want to know when THEIR circuits are
affected. If I'm providing some other service, relevant notification of
failure are useful. Tailoring outage information to be proactive and
relevant isn't something new and the practical implementation has already
been deployed by major players in the SP realm. The implementation of these
systems may be non-trivial in your environment, but customers are starting
to demand a notification of potential trouble BEFORE someone has spend 15 or
20 min to determine that the service is truly down.

And if your argument holds true, those 95% didn't bother to check twitter.
They called you anyway. And remember, you still have that website thats
hosted offsite, offnet. And you still control it. Twitter doesn't magically
change the way information is delivered just because its twitter. It does
change who is ultimatly in control of the content.


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