Mayday, Mayday! What to Do When the Digital World Screeches to a Halt?

We will always remember Monday, October 4th, 2021, as the day the lights went out. Facebook – and by proxy Instagram and WhatsApp – went down for six hours, resulting […]

We will always remember Monday, October 4th, 2021, as the day the lights went out. Facebook – and by proxy Instagram and WhatsApp – went down for six hours, resulting in a loss of a casual $40 Billion for Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg was rumored to have personally lost $7 Billion in the outage, or just enough to buy the New York Yankees!

Outside the offices in Menlo Park, the reaction was primarily good-natured fun. One Twitter user mentioned it was her most productive Monday since 2004 (the year Facebook was created), and more than a few folks suggested it was nice to have a day shielded from family members’ political opinions. On a day that many of us would have been endlessly scrolling, checking in to see how our friends (or enemies) spent their weekends, the system was shut down. But what happens to business when the digital world screeches to a halt, and how do we avoid any collateral damage?

Never put all your eggs in one basket

You may have heard the corrupt investment broker explain this concept in a recent episode of the breakout Korean drama Squid Game, but this is advice digital advertisers should always consider. When we mentioned Facebook lost $40 Billion, that figure represents the loss in value of their stock price. The actual ad revenue loss was closer to $80 Million. Not chump change to the average person, but only a drop in the bucket for the tech giant. The real impact lies with the advertisers relying on the platform to push their own business. 

Suppose a digital brand or a small business relies exclusively on one platform to engage with customers, and that platform goes down. In that case, that business’s entire marketing and support operations shutter, and business grinds to a stop, tethered to the hull of a sinking ship. 

Alternatively, a winning strategy would be to have a robust omnichannel solution in place, should one of your channels go down. Murphy’s Law states that “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” As we saw on Monday, platforms crash.

How omnichannel can help

Omnichannel is an excellent strategy because it delivers a consistent brand experience and helps you meet your customers where they are – on their favorite channels! Channels include SMS, chat apps, voice, and more. With a presence across these channels, a business gives itself a diversified marketing and support portfolio. 

Let’s use Monday as an example. If a brand was exclusively using social media for sales, marketing, and support, they were cooked. A team using Mitto’s omnichannel solutions would have temporarily lost access to WhatsApp Business but maintained access to every channel Mitto supports, creating a form of redundancy, a fallback plan.

There is a litany of reasons outside of a platform crashing that would render a channel temporarily useless:

  • Standard platform failures
  • Delivery errors
  • Bad contact info
  • Localized outages due to storms or natural disasters

Even brands with a multichannel approach can have difficulty redirecting traffic to new channels. With an omnichannel strategy, your customer engagement channels are already connected.

What about support?

Whenever a tech giant falters, a sense of panic is inevitable. If your customer support is wholly integrated into one platform and that platform goes offline, customers can’t reach you. This negatively impacts the customer experience, which can, in turn, erode trust – through no fault of your own!

Leveraging a tool like the browser-based Mitto Conversations, support teams can still access historical data when a platform fails. This way, support can be rendered over an alternate channel when a particular platform is offline. Ask any manager, and they will tell you one thing they crave is more control of a situation. 

Monday was what an insurance adjuster would refer to as a “force majeure” situation…unforeseeable circumstances. But the truth is, we should foresee these issues. Sometimes things don’t work. Aside from a good customer engagement strategy, omnichannel solutions also naturally mitigate risk for a digital brand. A prudent marketer may have even flipped the situation to their advantage by sending out an SMS to their network that said, “Facebook may be down, but we’re not! Channel your boredom into our 50% off sale today only.”

Those with omnichannel solutions could execute that kind of stunt marketing. Everyone else simply sat at home and waited for the lights to turn back on. Don’t get left in the dark. Text Mitto today to begin your omnichannel journey – (424) 653-3380.