How Much Does Downtime Really Cost Your Business?

 

Many SMB owners think IT downtime only costs them a few productive hours, but there’s a lot more at stake when your systems go down. Customer satisfaction and loss of brand integrity are just two of the key losses apart from the more evident costs such as lost productivity and a temporary dip in sales.

Here’s a few other ways downtime can hurt your business:

Customer Loss

Today’s buyer lacks patience; They are used to getting everything at the click of a mouse, at the tap of a finger. Suppose they are looking for the kind of products/services that you offer and your site doesn’t load or is unavailable—even if temporarily– you are likely to lose them to a competitor—permanently.

 

Damage to Brand Reputation

Customers are now using Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and blogs to vent their bad brand experiences. Imagine an irate customer who doesn’t know if their card was charged on your site, or not, due to a server error. If it’s your bad day, they could probably be using Facebook or Twitter to share their bad experience, and it could be viewed by hundreds of people, causing irreparable harm to your brand image.

 

Post downtime costs

A lot of businesses breathe a sigh of relief when systems return to working order following a period of downtime. However, the costs can keep piling up in the form of overtime payments for engineers working out of hours to fix the issue, expenses to repair any damage done to the infrastructure and any compensation you need to award customers for a failure to deliver on SLAs.

 

Loss of Productivity

When your systems don’t work, this can have a direct impact on your employees’ productivity. Consider a research firm of 200 employees where they primarily rely on internet connectivity to access the knowledge base. If the server hosting the knowledge base is down, there’s a total loss of at least 1600 work hours for one day.

 

Marketing Efforts Rendered Useless

Consider a pay-per-click advertisement that shows up for the right keywords on Google, or an extensive e-mail campaign that your business engages in. However, when the prospect clicks on the link, all they see is an error message – Isn’t that a waste of your marketing budget?

 

Legal repercussions

Going one step further than customer compensation, downtime can sometimes result in serious legal ramifications for a business. This is particularly prevalent with health-related businesses and those handling the personal and financial information of clients, which can be sued for outages, especially if downtime is associated with a security breach. Critically, these companies are also at risk of losing certification with national regulatory entities.

 

The bottom line—one natural disaster, one technical snag or just one power outage has the power to put you out of business – both virtually and in reality. It’s probably time to think about how you can mitigate the threat of a possible downtime and whether your MSP can act as an effective and efficient ally in this battle for you.

 

 

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