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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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An Internet Outage Plan For Your Dealership’s Website

 

Much of the eastern seaboard is expecting (or already experiencing) massive power outages and flooding as Hurricane Sandy makes landfall. We at ActivEngage think this is a good time to talk about what to do when your Internet network goes down. As a live chat provider, it is essential that our Internet connection to our dealership clients remains stable at all times. But in the rare occasion that our ISP flips the wrong switch, or inclement weather causes an Internet outage, we have a backup plan to ensure that our customers stay satisfied. When your website is down, what will you do for online car shoppers?

Here are a few tips:

  • Have a backup “Site Down” page ready.


Seen that one before? Nothing frustrates your customers like the unexplained, boilerplate error page. Let’s face it: Your site WILL go down at some point – so be prepared for it by offering shoppers a personalized, branded explanation for the downtime. You can follow this guide to making your own “service unavailable” page.

  • Communicate with visitors.

You might not have control over a third party’s service failure, but web visitors won’t know or care. Don’t wait for your shoppers to discover that something went wrong on their own. Communicate in as many ways as possible to prepare your incoming traffic for the downtime. If your website is down, hop on your Facebook and Twitter accounts and offer an apology or explanation to your community of fans.

 

  • Laugh it off.

Your website is down, but these things happen to every business. You might bemoan lost revenue or unsatisfied consumers, but in the end, there isn’t much you can do about it. Try and stay positive about the Internet outage, and keep a light-hearted tone when making the situation better later.

Everyone at ActivEngage is thinking of our friends in the Northeast as the biggest storm system in recent history sweeps through New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and about a dozen other states. Stay safe!

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Lucian Daniliuc
First, have it monitored, so you know when it is down. There are many services out there that do that, such as http://monitive.com Another great idea I have seen is to set up a twitter feed on the error page, where you keep your visitors up-to-date. Lucian.
Jim Bell
It is something to think about. I started to think about that when GoDaddy went down a month or so ago. I know of a lot of different dealerships that went black for those several hours. Now my mind is going on how to make this happen if and when it does happen.

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