Customer service, or, you’d best practice

As Dave Barry would say, though probably not with the following as the trigger, I swear I am not making this up.  I’d already posted my thoughts on better (rather than best) practice yesterday when someone I know well described a situation at work.

It seems major parts of the organization’s public web site were down.  Well, let’s say that if you tried to get to them, you couldn’t, which in my mind is a working definition of “down.”

The person at the organization who’s responsible for the site learned on Monday that there’d been a problem over the weekend.  After a series of emails, the ISP provided her with the following explanation.  This is the entire memo other than the addressee’s email and the sender’s name:

Subject: FW: Weekend issue

The primary DNS server became unavailable at some point on Friday, during the time that primary DNS server was unavailable some DNS zones expired and therefore were unable to be resolved through DNS lookup giving the appearance that the websites were down.

We are taking steps to ensure that this will not happen again, we plan to make these changes on our maintenance window, January 28th and we do not expect this to happen again before that time.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Two thoughts:

  • A technically accurate explanation is not always a good explanation.  As with “benefit,” I think an excellent judge of “explanation” is the customer.
  • When your customer says, “My stuff isn’t here,” don’t lead off by saying that “X gives the impression that your stuff’s not there.”

2 thoughts on “Customer service, or, you’d best practice

  1. Just wanted to share an example of how I think one should respond to problems with a site. A little off the general topic of your post but it’s what I thought of when I read it.

    Gary Vaynerchuk’s response to a hack on his site: subtitle: the very best use of social media in the context of customer service

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