Nearly 50% of customers will avoid a brand in the future if they’ve had to wait more than 5 minutes because of customer service downtime.

In the old days, when you lost Internet or power, you could still rely on humans to continue to do business and be fine. Today’s technologically dependent business with customers around the world can’t tolerate downtime like they used to in the past. Power and Internet connectivity have become just as mission critical to businesses as their actual product or service performance.

Customer service today is equally dependent on data and power in order to effectively serve customers. Customer service downtime can’t be ignored. Without your customer service team up and running, you just have a room full of people with nothing to do and your customers are stuck feeling frustrated that they can’t get a hold of you when they need you most.

The cost of Internet and customer service downtime is high for any business today

Today’s infographic from RetailCustomerExperience.com and CradlePoint focuses on the critical impact that your business can suffer by failing to plan for potential downtime to your customer service group and the rest of the business.

(source: RetailCustomerExperience.com)

If you fail to plan for customer service, you plan to fail in customer service

Customer service and business operations have to plan for more than just sick time or employee vacations.

Nearly 50% of customers will avoid a brand in the future if they’ve had to wait more than 5 minutes for customer service.

Most businesses, especially customer service groups fail to plan business operation contingencies for:

  • Natural disasters
  • Severe weather
  • Traffic accidents
  • Heavy network congestion
  • Internet service provider outage

It’s not just computer downtime that needs planning. Managing downtime is a critical element for any part of the business. This is especially important for online customer service teams, call centers, or business professionals who offer account support services to customers. According to the research:

  • 42% of businesses will experience up to 4 hours of downtime annually.
  • 20% of businesses will experience up to 24 hours of downtime annually.
  • 4% of businesses will experience up to 72 hours of downtime annually.

So what are your plans for when this happens? Chances are you could be affected during the next outage? How will you continue to deliver the customer service that your customers have come to depend on and that sets you apart from the competition? Do you have a plan in place for when customer service downtime happens at your organization?

You may think that a little bit of customer service downtime won’t hurt, however when you look at the data, 52% of businesses actually can’t survive for more than 1 hour of downtime before suffering a critical impact in their business operations.

When you service is down, your customers turn to who isn’t: your competitors

It’s critical to have the backup systems in place for technology and just as critical to have the backup systems in place for your customer service operations because customer service is the lifeblood of keeping your valuable customers you’ve worked so hard to get.