Mar 23, 2022 by Ben Mappen
On October 4, 2021, the world came to a halt. Over 3.5 billion people were impacted, as a service outage caused one of the most popular websites in the world to vanish from the internet.
Facebook was down. Not only that, the outage crippled Meta Platform Inc’s entire family of apps, including WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, and Oculus. In an instant, billions of people lost access to their main global communication channels, and millions of businesses lost their ability to sell on social platforms.
As Facebook employees scrambled to find the issue, companies all over the planet began counting their losses—which grew by the minute.
Roughly seven hours later, Meta restored full service. A fault in the underlying internet infrastructure interrupted the communications between the data centers.
That’s right, the main man himself lost nearly a billion dollars an hour from his back pocket. Ouch. And that begs the question: how much would an hour of downtime cost your business?
Let’s look at how the economic impact of service outages can hit your customers and how you can safeguard against disaster and drive customer satisfaction.
Awkwardly, Facebook chiefs had to use Twitter to apologize to the world publicly and explain they were working hard to get things back up and running.
We know Zuckerberg and his company were severely impacted—but what about the customers? How much do customers lose when a software company suffers a major service outage?
According to research from July 2021, an astounding 98% of organizations claim that a single hour of downtime costs over $100,000. Think about that for a moment. How would your business cope if a service outage knocked your lights out for a full day? Would you even survive?
CNBC reports that over 10 million brands and businesses advertise on Facebook’s platforms. When these apps went down, they all lost the mainline to their customer base. Some companies saw sales nosedive during the outage, reporting losses of 30% to 70% compared to the previous week.
Creators and social media influencers felt the pinch, too. While some lost just a few hundred dollars, others were left to rue the loss of over $5,000 they could have made through sales, product launches, affiliate links, and sponsored posts.
If a blackout like this can hit one of the biggest software companies on the planet, it can happen to anyone. When a service outage hit Amazon Web Services in December 2021, it disrupted a host of popular services, including companies in retail, airlines, stocks, and crypto.
Complaints rolled in from users of Netflix, Roku, Disney+, Tinder, Venmo, Robinhood, League of Legends, Kindle, Instacart, and the McDonalds app. MarketWatch reported that people couldn’t book flights with Delta Airlines and Southwest Airlines.
It was bad enough not to be able to spend frivolously on Amazon. But people were having issues shopping on booking flights, ordering Big Macs, binging their favorite shows, or even swiping right on the guy or girl of their dreams.
As you can imagine, service outages like this can make a lot of people pretty damn unhappy. That’s not good news for any software company.
Customer satisfaction is a measurement of how happy customers are with the products, services, and capabilities of a company. It’s not a fluffy, meaningful metric—it’s a key performance indicator (KPI) companies can’t ignore in the digital age.
Customer relationships have changed substantially in the digital age. The concept of stickiness due to switching cost hasn’t died . . . but it’s severely less pervasive than in the past. Customers are spoiled with choice like never before. If you can’t make them happy, someone else will. Customer satisfaction tells us how good a company is at meeting the expectations of its customers.
Software companies that fail to remediate bugs and service disruptions will inevitably face complaints rapidly. The longer a poor user experience impacts your app, the more damage it can do to customer satisfaction. If the problem persists, users may leave and might never return. After all, whatever niche you’re in, there is no shortage of alternatives.
PWC reports that 32% of customers will quit doing business with a brand they love if they have just one bad experience. Think about that prospect for a second—you could lose almost a third of your entire customer base after one high-profile fiasco.
Stock investing app Robinhood found itself in deep waters after some questionable service restrictions left users unable to access their accounts. Disgruntled customers couldn’t reach customer support, so they stormed the fintech’s HQ in California. From vandalism to people throwing dog feces, the debacle tanked the company’s reputation. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) slapped Robinhood with a record-breaking $70 million fine before the startup went on to make one of the worst stock debuts ever.
On the contrary, when you excel at meeting expectations, there is a lot to gain in the long term. Happy customers will engage your business more often, buy more, and become loyal ambassadors for your brand and products over time.
Sounds simple, right? Give them what they want, when they want it. The big question is: how?
The answer: Elite stability.
The bar is set high for software companies, as people are accustomed to lightning-fast apps driven by automation and real-time data processing.
And so, DevOps is crucial to customer satisfaction. A well-oiled machine for continuous delivery is the backbone that provides elite stability for software apps in 2022. And that’s where Armory can help.
Armory was built to enhance Spinnaker with the features that enterprise development organizations need. It provides a collaborative delivery environment making software delivery continuous, collaborative, scalable, and safe.
Here’s how Armory provides that elite stability:
A service outage is no joke. Amazon lost about $100 million per hour during downtime on Prime Day. But even after you restore your service after an outage, the damage can run much deeper. You might lose users and the trust of valued customers who use your service to run their business.
When people rely on your software to run their business or communicate with others, they expect constant uptime. Nobody has time for service outages—even a few minutes can be devastating.
If you want to keep your customers happy and maintain a competitive edge in your market, you need to establish a reliable system. Continuous delivery with elite stability can make-or-break your company’s reputation. Keep your service up to keep up with the customer’s expectations, or you might lose them forever.
Ready to put a smile on more customers’ faces? Get in touch with Armory to see how we can help you create more stable, reliable applications.
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