Site Downtime and Twitter Response

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How would you react to an outage, an interruption in service, or unscheduled downtime on your favorite site? Now imagine that downtime or outage is on your website. As you might imagine, how you react says a lot about your company and its future.

A recently released collaborative study by Microsoft Learning and Psychster examined how companies should use Twitter to address sitewide problems like downtime. The results suggested that: 

- Acknowledging the outage on Twitter reduces negative feelings and increases the perception that the responsible company cares.

- Giving an explanation for the outage in the tweet reduces users’ likelihood to contact customer support – but only when the tweets are made by an employee rather than the company or its executives.

"Companies are often encouraged to ‘join the conversation’ on Twitter, but there is still very little guidance as to what they should say.” said Tom Moran, Director of Microsoft Operations Customer & Partner Experience. “The Psychster study will help us stay connected with our customers and partners by acknowledging their experience, reassuring them, and informing them what their options are in the most relevant and useful way."

Additional results and the full methodology are available from the whitepaper (PDF).

 
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