Has this scenario happened to you?
You found a service. A SaaS product or hosted service: it could be anything. Maybe it’s a continuous integration service or perhaps it’s a service for capturing comments on your web site. Let’s call it Useful Service. You sign up, and you’re happy with it. Now you depend on it and your fortunes are tied to it. But day in and day out, it’s there for you, working reliably.
Then all of the sudden: it’s not. You try to sign in to your account and you can’t. You get nothing. Frantically, you search Twitter for the service, looking for an update. You get nothing. Then you post: “Is Useful Service down for anyone else?” Maybe you get a retweet.
You turn to Google: “Useful Service status” If you’re lucky, the first hit is for UsefulServiceStatus.com. If you are not, you might even think of trying to visit that site explicitly. Nothing. You are in the dark. Why doesn’t Useful Service have a status page? How can they keep their users so blind?Maybe you should suggest they improve their transparency and accountability with a public status page. Let’s draft an email to them:
Sample Status Page Request Letter
Dear Useful Service,
I love what you do. I’ve been relying on your service for many months. The other day you had an outage and I felt in the dark. I went searching for a status page but could not find one. Instead, I had to ask your support team for help and all they could say is “we know about it, we’re working on it”.
Many providers are using status page services to help communicate operational or other issues with customers. There are a variety of options available to you: You can self host an open source status page using Cachet, among many other options. If you prefer a third-party provider, there many others with wide ranging pricing and many with free options.
Either way, make your status page awesome. Include the individual component status of each part of your service so we can know exactly what’s affected.
Why should you bother setting up and maintaining a status page? The main reason is to increase transparency. Having a public representation of your service status will reduce incoming calls when there are issues, if you update it reliably. This will allow you to devote more resources to addressing the issue rather than fielding inquiries from customers.
Another reason is accountability: I’ve noticed Useful Service is rarely ever down. It’s extremely reliable and I’ve come to depend on it. You should be proud of that reliability and your status page history should reflect that reliability. We all know that downtime is expensive and showing your customers (and potential customers) how little you are down is a great step towards gaining trust.
Please consider setting up a public service status page. Your company and your customers will benefit.
We also suggest writing a Tweet at them on Twitter to inquire if a status page is on their road map. Many customer service teams are very responsive to inquires on Twitter.
StatusGator is our service that monitors status pages and sends you notifications when the services you care about go down. You can receive notifications in Slack or by email, SMS, or even web hook. Customers love our Slack slash command which allows querying the status of any service on demand right from where your team hangs out.
Try a 30 day free trial of StatusGator and let us know what you think.