Monday, January 29, 2018

Communication & Planning

When something goes wrong on a large scale in your company, you need a plan to talk about it quickly and effectively. It might seem like communication is just something that should happen naturally. Why would you need best practices for talking about something?

Think about all the channels you can use to communicate. Think about how much data can get lost along the way. Think about all the different groups that need to be looped into the conversation, and what different pieces of information each of those groups needs. What tools are you going to use to keep track of decisions the responders make? What do your internal stakeholders need to know? How are you going to loop in customers, and how often?

Not so easy, is it?

Few points mention in detail below regarding how to handle downtime/outage,

Definition -  

ITIL defines an incident as an unplanned interruption to or quality reduction of an IT service

Main Goal

Any event which disrupts, or which could disrupt, a service, including those:

  • Reported directly by users
  • Reported and/or logged by technical staff
  • Reported by Third party/vendor
When something goes wrong in your company any service disruption you need a plan to talk about it quickly and effectively there are best practices that can be used as clearly explained in ITIL.

Get the Right people involved:

Supervisor/incident reporter – assign a single person or a team of   at least three people as the incident reporter to report the outage or downtime by creating a ticket with all the necessary details as required this will help to track down all the issues for future correspondence if you would like to pull up the report to see how many times are you experiencing the issue is it related to the previous one or it’s something new.

The first line of support is the people who can trigger the alarm at first instance so check with them about any downtime or service discretion reported also check the queue(calls statistics) to see if you experience any high volume than normal that can be an indication of service downtime.

Once confirmed by the outage and ticket has been created then the most important step is to communicate with your channel.

Decide what to share:

The main key points that the customers would be keen to know :

Type of Outages impacting customers :

  • Phone line failures
  • Ticketing  down time
  • Power outage
  • Avaya functionality issues
  • Vendor outages impacting customers’ ability to navigate the portal

Unplanned maintenance downtime impacting users.

  • Error message when trying to access the application
  • System down

Ticket creation for outage incidents:

  • Steps to Follow
    • Incident identification - Once identified as an incident, the agent/team lead logs the incident as a ticket  The ticket should include information, such as the user’s name and contact information, the incident description, and the date and time of the incident report.
  • Categorization
    • Low-priority incidents are those that do not interrupt users or the business and can be worked around. Services to users and customers can be maintained.
    • Medium-priority incidents affect a few staff and interrupt work to some degree. Customers may be slightly affected or inconvenienced.
    • High-priority incidents affect a large number of users or customers, interrupt business, and affect service delivery. These incidents almost always have a financial impact


Outage status reminder email/notification should be sent out to the customer within a set time frame. The key is to update customers on regular basis and provide as much update as possible.

Website updated information:

The portal should reflect the status of the outage so that customer can check the status on the website.

Phone announcement:

Placed a message on the phone system with the status of the ongoing outage if there is any specified time frame or workaround for the issue advice customer about the same.


Once the issue is resolved mention the clear directions of what has happened and steps are taken to resolve the issue. If the issue was due to any third party/vendor ask for a detail RCA (Root cause analysis) of the report to identify any potential issues going forward.

Why is Everyone Chatting?

All the world over, businesses are changing their modes of operation. More specifically in how they handle their customers. This is becaus...