Over the past several years, status pages have become more and more commonplace. They are not just a feature of the behemoth cloud providers like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, but common among the multitudinous rank-and-file SaaS companies that every modern business depends on. Having a well-maintained status page is not just a luxury anymore. A status page is a requirement for running a transparent organization and, if maintained properly, can help reduce customer service costs by removing the flood of customer service contacts that comes when a problem arises.
But if your status page is not kept up to date, then having one serves little purpose other than to confuse and cause even more customer service requests. A recent anecdote of mine illustrates this. While preparing for end of year taxes, I opened up Gusto, the outstanding payroll service provider favored by small business and startups. I attempted to run several reports, but none were working. Each time, I was greeted with a cute loading indicator, but the report was never produced:
The Search for Answers
After trying some obvious troubleshooting techniques: logging out and logging back in, disabling ad block, hard refresh, even a different browser, I still had no luck. I was convinced the issue affected mored than just myself so I headed over to the Gusto status page. The Gusto status page showed no outage. My next stop was over to StatusGator where I subscribed to Gusto’s status updates. Now I’d be notified as soon as Gusto posted any outage.
After trying a few more times, I loaded up Gusto’s live support chat. Live chat has also become a necessity of today’s modern SaaS products. Gusto support was phenomenal. They responded immediately and recognized the issue without hesitation. It was a known problem! Their engineers were already working on resolving the issue. Wonderful, I replied.
But why hadn’t they updated their status page? I explained to the support rep that I had first checked the status page. Had they posted the issue, I would not have bothered their support team. I linked the status page with it’s bright green All Systems Operational notice.
“Oh, to be honest I didn’t even know about this. I’ll mention it to the team,” was the reply from other end. An honest and straightforward response was certainly all I could ask for. But I couldn’t help but wonder if Gusto was not alone in the world: with a status page that wasn’t maintained and a customer service team that wasn’t even aware of its existence. Your page should be mentioned explicitly in support documentation and clearly recommended as an information source for customers — before they contact support.
Save Money, Improve Transparency
Time is money and each customer service interaction costs your company a tangible sum. By making your status page front and center, you can be more transparent while reducing your support costs and improving customer outcomes.