Handling Service Outages On Mobile For Banks

Mobile has transformed banking, and this statistic from one Swrve customer shows how: they deliver more interactions in one minute on mobile than they do in branches all week. The sheer amount of mobile customers provides a huge opportunity for banks to use their apps as their primary communication channel - and not just in terms of the mobile service itself.

One good example relates to service outage or maintenance, whether it be planned or unplanned. Customers have become reliant on mobile to carry out their day to day banking needs, so a service outage is a genuine inconvenience for your customers. Poor communication leads to customers unsure as to why they can’t access their account, which in turn means servicing costly phone or in-branch enquiries - and a general loss of trust in the brand. Not a good place for any financial institution to be.

Handling Planned and Unplanned Maintenance

In the case of planned maintenance to any of your digital services, a clear and well-planned campaign to notify your customers is essential. Emails have a tendency to go unread, and SMS are impossible to track as well as expensive to deploy. A mobile marketing campaign will significantly increase awareness of planned maintenance, and take the burden off of call centres as a result, saving your company money and reducing the number of unhappy customers.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Notify customers well in advance. An in-app message delivered on app open is a terrific way of informing your customers about any upcoming downtime. Send this campaign a week before the maintenance as the first warning. You can display this with a full screen takeover that perfectly matches your brand design
  • Remind them closer to the time. A push notification the day before the maintenance serves as a reminder that any important transactions should be arranged around the downtime. Using optimally timed push, you can target users at a time that you know they usually use your app.
  • Connect your data. Utilise all the information you have across various silos, 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.  

Of course not all outages are planned, and notifying users of unplanned maintenance is perhaps even more critical.

  • Time is of the essence. The app is the most commonly used engagement point with your service, and certainly where users will look first for information. Have a simple in-app message apologizing for and explaining the outage, and show it on app open - and ensure you have a platform in place to enable that to happen! You can of course double up desktop and mobile internet.
  • Provide the alternative solutions. To help your customers, be imaginative with your in-app messages. For instance, beyond providing support options, use customer location data to personalize in-app messages by suggesting their nearest branch.