Your Status Page Is Useless if You Don’t Use It

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 businesses 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:

Animated pig dressed in seasonal hat and scarf, which serves as the loading indicator for Gusto payroll processing.
Gusto’s adorable loading indicator, dressed for the season.

The Search for Answers

After trying some obvious troubleshooting techniques: logging out and logging back in, disabling ad block, hard refresh, and even a different browser, I still had no luck. I was convinced the issue affected more 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’s 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 its 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 the 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.

More on Status Pages

Here we offer some extensive information on status pages, best examples, and cost comparison.

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