How To Manage Scheduled & Unscheduled Outages On Mobile

How To Manage Scheduled & Unscheduled Outages On Mobile

The Problem

Consumers are reliant on apps. They spend 8 out of every 10 mobile minutes in-apps.  Many apps - such as banking, travel, communication, and health - are ‘mission critical’ to consumers. They rely on them being available.

If you have a ‘mission critical’ app, you need an agreed, and instantly deployable communications plan for times when your services are unavailable (planned and unplanned availability). Heres how to do it.

Message For Planned Maintenance

For most enterprises, planned maintenance is a necessary requirement. If you do a good job of communicating with  your customers before, during and after, you will minimize customer dissatisfaction, and avoid escalations through other channels (call center, social, media).

Notify Customers In Advance With A Push Notification

Notify Customers In Advance Of Planned Maintenance

An in-app message delivered in-app is a terrific way of informing your customers about any upcoming downtime.

Serve this campaign a week before the maintenance as the first warning.

Be mindful about how you trigger this in-app message. It is best not to show on app session start. Most people will dismiss without reading. Wait until users have completed the task they opened your app to do. We find messaging in the right moment increases read rates 10X.

Remind Them Closer To The Time With  A Push Notification

Remind Them Closer To The Time

A push notification (and/or email) a few hours before the maintenance serves as a reminder that any important transactions should be arranged around the downtime.

Alternatively you could use optimally timed push to message each user at a time that you know they usually use your app.

In App Message during outage

Display During Outage

​If a user opens your app whilst you are under maintenance, serve them an in-app message immediately. Even whilst your app is offline, this message will still get through.

If appropriate, give them links to more information or other channels where they can get in touch. Tell them you’ll send them a message when services resume.

Send a push to let them know it's over

Let Them Know When It's Over

Once maintenance is finished and your service is running normally send a notification. That could be at 3am, but likely it’s better to send at 8am in that user’s local time zone.

Unplanned Outage

Unfortunately things break from time to time. It is crucial plan your customer communications for when this happens and provide support.

Be Prepared For Unplanned Downtime

Create and save pre-planned push, email and in-app services messages in advance, so that they are ready to deploy at a moment’s notice.  They will still get through even when your service is down.

Triggered Messages for unplanned maintenance

Triggered Messages

Depending on how you instrument your Swrve SDK, Swrve can know in real-time if your service has been affected.

For instance, if the device has no internet internet connectivity issue, the issue is not with your service, but on your customer’s side. Use this data to trigger in-app messages explaining this to the user.

Uber example

How Uber Uses Location To Personalize Service Messages

Uber does not operate in Spain. If you opened the app there, you may be under the impression that Uber is down. Uber manage for this. When the Uber app is opened in Spain, an in-app message is triggered by geolocation notifying that their transportation service is unavailable in that particular location.

Notice how they use this opportunity to cross sell their Uber Eats service which is available.

Use location and segmentation to know who is affected

Use Location And Segmentation To Know Who Is Affected

​Take the recent example of British Airways’ system outage at Heathrow. How can you better manage this?

Perhaps a push notification triggered by a geofence could have deeplinked to an in-app message providing support - notifying and helping affected passengers. Or use Swrve to look up who is travelling today and message them across every channel

Connect Your Data

Sync  across your channels, be it email or SMS, in order to make sure that campaigns are working together in a smart way. If a certain segment of users have not opened your push notification, send them an email, or vice versa.

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